Playbook: Bynum and Gasol High-low Offense
During Andrew Bynum’s time as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, the team took advantage of the superior skill and shooting range of forward-center Pau Gasol to get the 285-pound Bynum easy looks in scoring position.
We analyze one one way the Lakers were able to do this.
(MOUSE OVER IMAGES FOR DETAILS)
Gasol and Bynum High-low Offense
In this play, the first offensive possession of the game for the Lakers, head coach MikeBrown is looking to spread out the Detroit defense to create a one-on-one opportunity for Andrew Bynum against Greg Monroe, over whom Bynum has a 35-pound advantage.
With point guard Derek Fisher off ball on the right wing, Metta World Peace controls the ball just right of the top of the key.
Bynum gets into position, maintaining a spot on the left block, while Gasol flashes up the near side of the paint to receive a pass from World Peace.
Here, the Lakers are looking to isolate Bynum, Gasol, and their two defenders on one side of the court (in color) to facilitate high-low action.
The term "high-low" refers to the fact that the offense will look to stretch the defense by spreading out two post players, one in the high post and one in the low post.
Gasol receives the pass just inside the three-point line. His man, Jason Maxiell (highlighted in red), now has a choice to make. Either respect Gasol’s shot and come forward to defend him, or cheat back to deny an entry pass to Andrew Bynum in the low post.
Because Gasol has great range and is a consistent jump shooter, Maxiell is forced to account for the possibility that he will shoot the ball and, therefore, comes forward to apply pressure.
As soon as this happens, Bynum drops his hips and establishes position, preparing for the entry pass from Gasol.
The red oval in the image above demonstrates the empty space created by Maxiell’s defensive movement that will allow an entry pass to be made.
Bynum receives the entry pass and immediately begins to back Monroe down.
World Peace sets a screen for Kobe Bryant, who vacates the paint, taking his man, Rodney Stuckey, with him (represented by chain link).
Derek Fisher drifts into the far right corner and his man, Brandon Knight, stays close (also represented by a chain link), respecting the threat he poses as an outlet for Bynum.
Maxiell cannot collapse to double-team Bynum, because he would be leaving Gasol open for a kickout jumper (chain link).
Tayshaun Prince, standing on the far side of the charge circle could attempt to double Bynum at this point, but he would be leaving his man (World Peace) wide open under the basket for a quick dish from Bynum.
All four off-ball defenders are stuck respecting their own assignments, leaving a helpless Monroe all alone to fend off Bynum. (Rodney Stuckey, at the far-side elbow) begins to walk back to the other end of the court, giving up on the play)
Bynum makes the correct move, a drop step away from Prince’s potential help defense. He uses his body to shield the ball from Monroe before elevating and finishing through him.
Easy bucket. Chuck approves.
Here is the play in real time and in slow motion: