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A couple of huge three-pointers from Jason Richardson down the stretch gave Orlando an upset victory over Indiana in Game 1. Let’s take a look at the plays Orlando ran to get Richardson open.
Before getting to the fourth quarter, Orlando set up Richardson’s first three-pointer with a curl to the basket in the third quarter. Orlando starts the play in their horns set, and Jameer Nelson first gives it up to Glen Davis. Nelson continues into the lane where Richardson rubs Nelson’s defender off of him so Nelson can pop back to the top to receive the ball. Instead of continuing through to the weakside of the floor, Richardson spins back around and runs off of a down screen from Davis. He curls around the screen and hits a runner in the lane. Video of the full play is below.
Jumping ahead to crunch time, Orlando is in the horns set again, and Nelson and Richardson perform a similar off-ball exchange. This time, however, instead of getting a screen from Davis to run to the wing, Richardson gets a double screen from Davis and Ryan Anderson for an open three at the top of the key. By the looks of things, Paul George is anticipating Richardson popping out to the wing again and is trying to stop him from getting there. His denial works against him, as it gives Richardson a clear path to the top of the key. The full play is below.
On Richardson’s next three-pointer, the Magic ran a play that was discussed in the series preview. They needed a quick bucket and were going to look for Hedo Turkoglu in the corner. Below is video of how the play worked for J.J. Redick during the regular season. Nelson uses a ball screen to drive baseline, as the weak side player screens for Redick.
This time, Orlando utilized the backup option on the play because Nelson couldn’t get past Darren Collison. After Richardson sets the ball screen for Nelson, Ryan Anderson sets a screen for Richardson to run to the top of the key. The passing angle isn’t there, so Richardson comes right back to the wing, using a second screen from Anderson. Paul George and the Pacers are caught off guard, and Richardson has just enough space to hit another three. The full play is below
The Pacers did a nice job anticipating Orlando’s go-to plays, but Jason Richardson and the Magic were even better in utilizing their secondary options.