Film Room: Developing Backcourt

By Josh Cohen
Sept. 9, 2015

Both Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton are good at evading screens, which helps them make solid defensive plays. In the play featured below, Payton avoids a pair of off-the-ball picks set by Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki. This allows Payton to step in front of an inadvertent pass by Monta Ellis, come up with a steal and lead a 2-on-1 fast break. WATCH:

Payton excels when he pushes the pace. His herky-jerky, shifty movements make it difficult for defenders to project his path. In the play featured below, the Kings get lost on defense and are forced to make unprepared switches. Nik Stauskas ends up guarding the speedier Payton, while Andre Miller is stuck with Oladipo, who notices a wide-open baseline. WATCH:

Oladipo and Payton are both excellent at sneaking in the paint. This forces defenses to collapse inside, which gives more space for shooters on the perimeter. The Magic know they need to become a proficient 3-point shooting team this season (ranked 20th in threes made and 22nd in threes attempted last year). In the play featured below, a Nikola Vucevic pick allows Payton to escape Derrick Rose. Knowing Pau Gasol isn’t a stout defender, Jimmy Butler leaves Oladipo for extra paint protection. WATCH:

Oladipo and Payton both have high basketball IQs, which help them make smart decisions. In the play featured below, the Magic recognize the Nets don’t have a shot-blocker at the basket. Nikola Vucevic has forced Brook Lopez away from the hoop. In effect, Oladipo sees an open lane and uses a quick move to elude his defender. WATCH:

The Magic are one of the most athletic teams in the league. They are at their best when they get out on the break. It will be a focus for them to force opponents into turnovers and score in transition. In the play featured below, the Magic make a solid defensive play and Oladipo is able to storm ahead and connect with Payton for a 2-on-1 fast break. WATCH: