Today’s play of the day is a quickhitter called blazers pistol. This simple but effective quickhitter is frequently used by the Portland Trailblazers hence the name blazers pistol. Portland happens to have an outstanding young point guard in Damien Lillard so this play works great for them, but really any team with a solid PG and SG could run this play effectively. The beauty of it is really it’s downright simplicity and the fact that there are three different slightly different options off the same play. I could see this play being a very effective AAU play, where many teams have good guards and also where you see more one on one defense than you might see during the high school season.
This play is meant to be run out of a transition look (make or miss) which allows you to run it quickly and without allowing the defense to get set and comfortable. As you watch the Blazers run this play (see the video below) you will notice how quickly they run it and how Lillard doesn’t go half speed to get the ball back. This is what makes it hard to defend, is because he’s coming at you full speed and the guy most likely to pick him up is the x2 defender who is likely at a stand still.
The Blazers will also run this set play where the 2 guard keeps it and comes off the screen by the 5 man for a high pick and roll (Option 2 above), and finally will run it where the PG does not pass but keeps the ball and comes off a screen by the 2 guard who then gets a screen himself from the 5 man (Option 3 above). In the end you have one set play that can be run with slight variations depending on what the defense is giving you. And as mentioned above, this is such a simple play, yet hard to defend that it would be something you could easily add in with your team. With AAU teams having limited practice time this is something that could be easily added in a pinch. Watch the Blazers run this set play below (first minute shows it with the pass, then they start running it without the initial pass).