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Diagram 1

The play starts with “triangle spacing,� meaning that is composed of a two-guard front, two wings, and a center. The players are as follows: O1 (Fisher), O2 (Ariza or Vujacic), O3 (Bryant), O4 (Odom), and O5 (Gasol). This play can be initiated in a variety of ways, but the most common is for Odom to bring the ball up and execute the first entry pass to the wing. After the pass, he cuts to the basket and gets the so-called UCLA screen on the high post by Gasol. It is possible that Odom is open on this cut, but it is very rare, since that particular cut has been run to death in the last 30 years. If he is not open, Odom cuts to the weak-side low post and waits.

Diagram 2

After Odom’s cut, Gasol and Bryant execute a pick and roll on the wing. The Lakers WANT the defense to trap Kobe, since only a trap can initiate this play. After the trap, Gasol rolls towards the low post, and Odom flashes to the freethrow line. The roll and flash are the most important aspects of the entire play because the movement creates the necessary spacing for the action to work. When Kobe is trapped, he passes the ball to Odom, who then has to make a decision. Since Kobe is trapped on the perimeter and the center has a long way to cover the distance between him and Gasol, it effectively creates a 3 vs. 2 situation: Gasol, Odom, and Vujacic (or Ariza) vs. two defenders, D4 and D2. In this particular diagram, Odom penetrates to the basket, and is stopped by D4, leaving Gasol wide open for a layup under the basket. Gasol gets the ball from Odom and scores.

Diagram 3

This option is identical to the previous diagram except that D4 decides to cover Gasol, forcing D2 to stop Odom’s penetration, leaving Vujacic/Ariza wide open. Odom passes the ball for Vujacic/Ariza and the Lakers get a wide open three.

Can this be defended?

The most effective way to defend this play to abandon the trap at the top and force Kobe baseline and then trap him, taking Odom out of the play and making it easier to rotate to the shooters. As it stands, this play has been run successfully against the Cavs and Celtics this year, and they never had an answer.

Pick and Roll- Gasol and Kobe  
Pick and Roll- Gasol and Kobe  

Pick and Roll- Gasol and Kobe by Wilt(from