A closer look at how Shaq and Kobe use their fast feet to get open looks
How the Triangle Works
Every possession counts in the Playoffs, when players and teams leave it all on the line in their quest for a ring. Using LamisilAT's "Fast on Their Feet" play diagrams, take a closer look at how some of the NBA's top teams run their offenses when stakes are highest. Read the play description below, watch a Flash animation of the play, then check out video of how the action unfolds on the floor.
The Los Angeles Lakers' triangle offense has been a staple of a Phil Jackson-coached team since he was winning NBA titles with the Bulls. The example to the right is one option out of the triangle offense and it is designed to get Kobe Bryant (No. 8) a shot.
The play starts when Shaquille O'Neal (34) flashes up to the high post, creating some space around the basket. Gary Payton (20) hits Shaq with a pass and Payton tries to lose his defender with a hard cut around the outside of Shaq.
If Payton can shake his man, Shaq has the option to hand the ball off to him, and Payton can turn the corner for a layup or pull up for a jumper. Another option, as seen here, is that Shaq fakes the handoff and makes a quick dribble move to the middle of the foul line, freezing the defensive players. Karl Malone (11) and Rick Fox (17) then form a double screen for Kobe (below left) away from the ball.
Kobe now has an option based on how he reads the defense. If his defender is guarding toward the baseline, Kobe can change direction and come off the double screen looking for a jumper. If he catches his defender cheating towards the high side, as is the case here, then Kobe fakes toward the screen and runs a backdoor under the basket.
In this case, Shaq hits him there, and Kobe scores the basket.