04 October, 2022
14 May, 2023
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Tactics Board - Sito's Pizarra

 MIES (Switzerland) - UCAM Murcia improved to 2-1 with another impressive victory, this time against Darussafaka Lassa. We already know that you can never afford to discount a team with Thad McFadden playing his favorite role and when you have a cast of protagonists around him like this, with a director like Sito Alonso calling the shots, it's pretty clear another run to the Final 4 isn't off the cards for this group. Let's have a look at the best sets and concepts from Sito's pizarra against Dacka. 

Touch Up

The first video below is straight from the pizarra. Alonso called it "Seven Black" during the timeout directly before this clip. Murcia had made a brutal start to the game and needed to execute something to get a bit of confidence and rhythm. It's a pretty good idea in situations like that to run Thad McFadden off some screens, then if he's not open have a ball screen action to flow into. In this case, it's a "Spain" pick-and-roll with #23, James Anderson setting the back screen and popping out to shoot. Note - this entry of throwing the ball and then sprinting to get it back is often known as "Touch".


Less than two minutes later Alonso and Murcia went to the same action again. Watch how McFadden catches the ball a little further away from the 3-point line. This encourages his defender, Dogus Ozdemiroglu, to go under the first screen. In theory, it's not the worst idea as it's too far for McFadden to shoot off the first dribble and gives him time to get back in front to nullify the Spain action. McFadden and Murcia have the counter punch ready though. McFadden uses a re-screen to create an ocean of separation and the defense isn't ready to react in time to contest.


Here is the same "Touch" entry later in the game but this time no Spain action after the staggered screens away from the ball. David Jelinek just catches and lets it fly.  


Time's Up

What kind of ACB team doesn't have a myriad of options when the ball enters the post. In Spanish, the center position is the "Pivot", when you see actions like the clip below it makes perfect sense. With less than eight seconds on the clock and Murcia needing a score, Sito Alonso called a set to find #11, Nemanja Radovic in the post. As soon as he catches it his eyes are fixed on the free throw line area. He's not even thinking to score himself. Jordan Sakho (#18) nails James Anderson's man with a screen and #23 did the rest. Anderson, a former Dacka player, finished the game with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and shot 75 percent from three. 



Speed Up

It's not often that we see ACB clubs topping the charts for possessions per 40 minutes but since Pedro Martinez's marauding, young guns rampaged their way to the final in the BCL last year, we now have not one, but two ACB teams playing at the fastest Pace (Pace = possessions per 40 minutes) in the league. 

The action in the final clip below may go some way toward explaining how and why UCAM Murcia are topping the charts for tempo. Notice the position and angle of the transition ball screen for Thad McFadden. Usually ball screens in the middle of the floor, around the halfcourt line are used to break ball pressure. When you give McFadden the green light, any screen is an invitation to shoot. Watch how much separation he's able to create with one dribble.


Diccon Lloyd-Smeath

Diccon Lloyd-Smeath

Diccon is a basketball coach and analyst living in Madrid. Constantly digging in the crates of box scores and clicking through hours of game footage. Diccon is on the hunt for the stories within the stories. If you like to get a closer look at what’s going in the Basketball Champions League, you have found it.