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Explain One Play: Draymond Green rides busted elevator again

Video breakdown of a play from the Warriors-Hornets game on Jan 4 2016.

Mr. Triple-double with jazz hands.
Mr. Triple-double with jazz hands.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Refresher: Elevator Doors

Remember this cool out-of-bounds play to seal the Warriors' huge comeback win over the Clippers?

Well, it's an out-of-bounds play version of Elevator Doors, which we dissected in detail in a previous post.  Basically, Stephen Curry runs between two bigs who lean against each other like shutting elevator doors, separating Curry from his defender. In the Clippers case, Draymond Green's defender leaves him to follow Curry and bust the elevator doors, leaving Green open for the cut to the basket and easy layup.

Today's Play: Busted Elevator Doors

Well, this play, the charismatic megafauna of Warriors plays, returned in last night's Hornets game. Watch how the Hornets defend it.

Charlotte looked well-coached tonight. They jumped several standard Warriors sets and they were (sort of) prepared for this play. You can see Stephen Curry's defender, Kemba Walker, loses Curry as he cuts between the elevator doors. Even though Andrew Bogut looks totally uninterested in being a Door, Curry has too much separation for Kemba to catch up. Kemba smartly calls for Draymond's defender Marvin Williams #2 to switch to cover Curry. Very well done, this shuts down the first option of this play.

However, the Warriors are going Next Level this year, and they are adept at going to their secondary options. In this case, Draymond Green has the smaller Kemba Walker defending him. Curry quickly figures this out and feeds Draymond. Green said he was working on his post game and it shows. He quickly backs down Kemba and hits a medium-difficulty layup over him. The beautiful part about Draymond's finish is that he spins away from the incoming double team.

Next Level.

And now as a dot diagram.

Bonus Play: Draymond's Huge Game Sealing Dunk

You may remember the last time the Hornets played, Curry dropped 28 in a quarter. In Explain One Quarter: Curry's Casual 28 Points we documented the blossoming bromance between Kemba Walker and Cody Zeller, which was then in the "I want to kill you" phase. In this play, Kemba and Zeller have to cooperate to stop a damned hard play to stop: the pick and roll with Curry setting the pick for Green.

Indeed, this play is a real secret weapon. I'm expecting the Warriors to break this out in future crunch time.  This simple play belongs to that great genre of plays where Curry and Klay set screens for scores. Basically, if a shooter is willing to give up his body to screen well, it's an awesome thing, because (1) the shooter's defender will not want to leave and (2) the shooter's defender is usually a small who is not used to defending as the screen defender.

Draymond's defender Zeller is screened by Curry, so Kemba has to do something to slow Draymond down. He chooses to hedge, which means jumping out for a moment to slow Draymond's drive while Zeller gets around the screen to catch up to Draymond. This is never going to work because Zeller is never going to catch Draymond. Kemba tags Draymond and hauls butt to get back to Curry. This causes him and Zeller to run into each other.  Probably the right play in retrospect is for Kemba to completely switch and for Zeller to cover Curry. The Green-Curry pick and roll is one heck of a hard play to defend.

You may wonder why I began the clip so early. I find it impressive how quietly alpha Curry is. In this play, you can see Curry direct every step. He points to direct Green to enter the ball to Klay, he points to direct Klay to get it back to Draymond, he makes a hand signal to probably call the play to remind everyone, and he sets up where he wants to set the screen.

Final Thoughts

Triple-doubles are stupid.  But since they are the only stat that will get Draymond Green his recognition, I'm all for it.

Notable other archived examples of plays with shooters screening include Explain 1 Play: Curry Cold-Blooded Go-Ahead 3 (Klay-Curry Pick and Roll) and Explain 1 Play: Awesome Curry Bank Shot And-1 (Warriors Rip, Floppy). There are numerous Warriors out-of-bounds plays with this same principle.

Barnes looked rested and unrushed. The team definitely felt noticeably deeper tonight!

You could feel the team at times during the game deferring to Curry (probably too much) so he could go Super Saiyan (which he did do).

If you want to read more breakdowns, check out the rest of the series of Explain One Play articles. For the full updated index, go to The Explain One Play series index.

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