Out of the Miami Heat's big three, getting Chris Bosh going on the offensive end is the biggest challenge for coach Erik Spoelstra and the rest of the Miami Heat coaching staff. This is because unlike LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, the ball can't be placed in Bosh's hands at the top of the key, letting him work isolation plays and break down his man. Instead, Bosh is dependent on his teammates, especially when he wants the basketball in the post. So when the Heat do want to get Bosh the basketball in the post, they have to be creative in their playcalling, running sets to help Bosh get position on the block where he can operate, then delivering the basketball to him. There are four main sets that the Heat like to run, all involving screens of some sort:
We are first going to look at the simplest, yet most used set to get Bosh the ball in the post:
The set starts with the point guard bringing the basketball down the court as Bosh sets up on the midpost and a shooter (in this case Mike Miller) setting up on the block. Miller comes off of a pindown set by Bosh, flashing to the wing and getting the basketball.
After setting his pindown, Bosh simply turns around and posts his man. What makes this play work is the fact that the Heat use a shooting threat on the wing. The defense needs to play up on Mike Miller (if not, he gets an open three), and that pressure is what opens up a passing lane for Bosh.
Once Bosh makes the catch, Mike Miller, the man entering the basketball cuts through to the opposite corner. You are going to see this cut through often throughout these sets, and the Heat like to do it to clear out the area to give Bosh room to work.
Once Miller clears to the opposite corner, Bosh faces up and goes to work on the block. Here is the set in real time:
Like I mentioned, this set is simple, but it works because you can't really focus on Bosh or sink in, taking away the passing lane and preventing the ball from getting into Bosh. You will also notice that it is not an actual screen being set. The reason why is so Bosh can get a quick seal once Miller goes by him.
Here is another look at the play. This time, LeBron James is the man coming off of the pindown screen from Bosh. The reason why it works is because LeBron James has so much respect that he isn't going to have defenders sinking off of him. This means the concept remains the same as if a sharpshooter is coming off of the pindown.
The Big Three Set
This next set is described as "The Big Three Set" because it involves all three members off the Big Three, working off of the ball in an effort to set up Bosh in the post:
This set starts with the point guard bringing the basketball up the court as Dwyane Wade and LeBron James set up on the opposite blocks. They get in position to set a staggered cross-screen for Bosh who comes from the weakside to the ballside, using the cross screens.
After setting his screen, LeBron James flares out to the corner as Dwyane Wade comes off of a pindown set by the Heat's center.
The reason for all of this action is to draw attention towards both James and Wade and away from Chris Bosh who is setting up on the block, looking for the basketball.
Bosh gets the basketball and the man who made the entry pass cuts through. Bosh then goes to work in the post. Here is the play in real time:
You can see the defense is really focused on Wade and James and this prevents a double team from coming. So much so, that when Bosh actually brings himself into a position where he can be doubled (the middle of the floor, where Wade's man can dig at the basketball), no double comes, allowing him to pump fake and get a shot off.
Here is the set again, and despite it being run a little sloppy this time, it is still effective. Again, the concept remains the same. Bosh holds onto the basketball for a while, so long that normally a double would come. However, because both James and Wade are working off of the basketball, the defense is hesitant to double.
Screen The Screener
This set uses the "screen the screener" action to get Bosh on the block with his man trailing him, unable to push him out of position:
As the basketball gets brought down the court, the Heat run a shooter off of a staggered screen off of the basketball, with Chris Bosh being the second screener.
As the shooter comes off of the first screen, the front man of the staggered screen turns around and sets a backscreen for Chris Bosh.
Once the shooter runs off of Bosh, he uses the backscreen to flash to the ballside block. As you can see here, there is an effective screen being set, getting a piece of Bosh's man.
Bosh makes the catch in strong position before his man can push him off of the block. Here is the play in real time:
Again, the key here is getting Chris Bosh in a position to score. The backscreen working off of a staggered screen (basically a screen the screener option) is an effective way to catch Bosh's man off guard, which makes him more susceptible to the screen.
Here is another look at the set, this time with Dwyane Wade involved as the front man of the staggered screen. Wade's man is afraid to leave him and help, setting up the screen and giving Bosh space.
SLOB Staggered Screens
Maybe the most interesting set run by the Heat is a sideline out-of-bounds set designed to quickly get the basketball into Chris Bosh on the block:
As the ball goes to the trigger man, Chris Bosh comes off of staggered screens, allowing for Bosh to cut to the block on the strong side.
After setting his screen, the front man of the staggered screen comes off of a pindown screen and gets the basketball from the inbounder.
The man coming off of the pindown gets the basketball, but quickly gets the basketball back to LeBron James. Once James makes the catch, he enters the basketball to Bosh on the block.
Once Bosh gets the basketball, he has his man on his back with strong post position, allowing him to go to work and make his move. Here is the play in real time:
In my opinion, the reason why this play works is because it looks like the staggered screens and the post up by Bosh is just a decoy as the ball gets entered to the top of the key. Instead, they quickly go right back to James who enters the basketball to Bosh on the block.
Here is another look at this SLOB set. The pass to the top of the key basically resets the defense, forcing them to play their man straight up instead of being in help position. So when the ball goes back to LeBron and then into Bosh, there is no chance of a double team coming.
Here is another look at this set, this time with a different option being used. Being the inbounder, LeBron James is the man in charge of reading the defense. In this case, Bosh's defender doesn't really work through the staggered screens, leaving him open on the block. Instead of wasting time with a pass to the top of the key, James enters the basketball into the post himself.
When running a set for a post player, no matter who it is, you typically see a screen off of the basketball being set. The reason why is because when the post player is fighting for position without the basketball, the defender is allowed to use his hands to push and get the man posting out of position. Once the man on the block gets the basketball, the defense can't use their hands anymore. So if you run a offball screen for your post player, it keeps the defense from leaning on him and pushing him. That is exactly what the Heat are doing with Bosh in these sets, as they work him off of the basketball and enter it to him before the defender can push him out of his area. This allows him to be much more effective when he makes his catch on the block.