At this point, it’s starting to feel like we’ve covered the Vogel Weave as much as it is even possible to do (see: this post by our own Jared Wade and this one by myself) but last week during the game in Miami, the Pacers displayed a cool new wrinkle that couldn’t go without mention.
In a game with few bright spots, it was really great to see the Pacers break this out late in the second quarter to get them a great shot and give them some momentum going into halftime.
The play starts off with a somewhat similar alignment to the typical versions of the weave that the Pacers have ran regularly since last season, this time with David West on the wing, George Hill out on top, Roy Hibbert in the high post, and Lance Stephenson and Paul George in the corners.
It’s initiated the same way, with Hill dribble-pitching to the wing, but this time we see some action on the weakside as the dribble pitch occurs, with Hibbert setting a downscreen for PG.
Paul curls into the lane looking for the ball, making it apparent that that’s the first option for the play.
However, West can’t hit the cutting PG, as Miami’s Udonis Haslem is more than willing to help off the non-threat Hibbert, and get in George’s way as he looks to receive it going towards the hoop, so West instead looks to swing the ball to Hibbert.
Once West gets the ball to Roy, he starts making a move towards the hoop, cutting around Hibbert.
Bosh is a step behind, and PG sets a backscreen on him to give West even more room, which would usually allow for an alley-oop. However, LeBron helps off of George so the lob can’t get through.
George recognizes that LeBron is now a few steps behind him due to helping on the potential lob to West, so he sprints out to the 3-point line to get an open shot off the pass from Hibbert.
George nails the shot.
Impressively, from the time the first dribble-handoff occurred, to the time PG shot the ball, only 8 seconds elapsed. Check out the play in real time:
It’s excellent to see that Vogel is still adding options to this play so late in the season. Come playoff time, teams have learned what to expect from teams and know how to exploit various sets – they can’t prepare for that if they don’t know that they exist. With so many different options out of this awesome end-of-quarter play, it could come in extremely useful for the Pacers, especially if they choose to run it down the stretch of a close game.