Slip & Dive — Clint Capela in Transition

Houston Rockets Center Clint Capela has burst onto the scene as one of the premier energizer-bunny type-of-players in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

And yet, in addition to his rim-to-rim energy plays, Mike D’Antoni’s offensive attack has also taken advantage of the Swiss-born big’s willingness to run and get easy points at the basket.

Each of these four clips features Capela running in transition and entering into a “drag” action. This concept should sound familiar to my last post, which was all about the Marshall Thundering Herd’s transition offensive attack, as of course, Marshall uses many of the similar concepts that Rockets do on the move.

What you will notice is that instead of setting the screen, Capela, in turn, slips to the rim. The end result; a combination of four layups and dunks right near the hoop.

Slipping, for those that do not know, means that when a player sets his body to set a screen, the player breaks off the screening action and never actually makes contact with the guard or primary defender.

Slipping the ball-screen has become one of my favorite subtleties to study as it inhibits switching defenses from feeling as comfortable switching as it might like. Often times, a defense likes to switch attached, defender-to-defender, to keep the opponents from getting in the lane. Therefore, a slip to the rim throws a wrench into the defensive gameplan for any defense. Hence, by negating the defense’s perceived control, slipping ball-screens can help reclaim an offense’s sense of control over its opposition.

How often do your teams use slips to the rim in your offense? Just a subtle nuance and addition to a coach’s playbook can diversify an offensive portfolio that much more.

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