All's well that ends well, so with no style points in play for the Pacers win over the Lakers on Tuesday night, the fabulous finish by George Hill the made the late night W worth the lost sleep.
Grantland's Zach Lowe takes a spectacular look at the Pacers final play to free Hill for the game winner. Z-Lowe reveals the play has roots in New Orleans when the Hornets used to pester the league with David West and Chris Paul using the same decoy pick n' roll action.
After the game, Frank Vogel suggested David West could have set an actual screen for Hill, but he never came close to doing so, and it doesn't appear West had any intention of setting a real screen. He instead ran hard up toward Hill as if he were going to screen Metta World Peace, only to suddenly veer off toward the top of the 3-point arc and away from Hill.
Monty Williams ran this play with West and Chris Paul all the time in New Orleans, especially in clutch situations. It was a straight-up decoy then; Williams instructed West merely to fake a screen for Paul before darting away toward the center of the court, as he did last night. The idea, Williams has told me, is to trick the point guard's defender (World Peace) into thinking a screen is coming to Hill's right.
Read the rest of the Lowe's work on the play which breaks down everything with pictures and video just as Williams explained it working with West and Paul.
The piece made me think of the classic "Mike Dunleavy finger-nail tip game" which required a miracle tip because West knocked down a jumper off of the high pick n' roll action with CP3. Of course I had to take a look at how that play worked and there was no decoy. West not only set a pick on T.J. Ford, he swallowed Ford up. Jeff Foster didn't let Paul turn the corner though which left West open to put the Hornets ahead.
Here's a clip of the game-winner by G3 morphing a little CP3 with Tony Parker to win one for the Pacers.