The Suns and the Story of Spain vs Milwaukee

Evin Gualberto
4 min readApr 27, 2021

When the Milwaukee Bucks played host to the Phoenix Suns on April 19th 2021, they probably expected quite a bit of Spain/Stack PnR actions.

A Spain Pick and Roll is defined, by the Basketball Action Dictionary, as: “a pick-and-roll combined with a backscreen (the player who sets the ballscreen then receives a backscreen as he rolls to the hoop)”

So the format going forward will be talking about the offensive alignment and the defensive coverage or what *I believe* the defense is trying to do.
Ball handler (Devin Booker) - ball screener (DeAndre Ayton) - back screener (Jae Crowder)
The coverage? It looks like they are dropping the big. TBD what the wings are supposed to do.
Devin Booker pulls up at the left elbow so Giannis doesn’t have to decide if he’s going to chase Jae Crowder out or let Khris Middleton switch onto him.

Cam Payne- Dario Saric- Devin Booker
The coverage? It looks like they are dropping the big but because Saric pops instead of rolling, Lopez has to close out. Phoenix then flows into Chicago action (a down screen into a DHO for the same player) and get a decent look from Bridges.

CP- Ayton- Devin Booker
The coverage? It looks like they are dropping the big and the guards are *supposed* to switch (I’m gonna go ahead and default to Jrue Holiday being right because I trust Jrue Holiday more defensively). Portis drops back and Holiday steps up to contain CP’s drive. Teague is then caught between two minds- get back to CP or chase Booker leaking out.

CP- Ayton- Devin Booker
The coverage? It looks like they are dropping the big and the guards are supposed to stay home- so the Bucks regular drop coverage…which makes me wrong about the Holiday bit. Yes, I was wrong, but wouldn’t you have listened to Jrue? Portis drops back to the rim, Middleton chases Booker around the Ayton screen and Holiday fights to get back to Paul. CP forces Portis to step to him, probably knowing that either Booker is going to spring open or Ayton is going to dive to the rim.

CP- Ayton- Devin Booker
The coverage? Same as usual: Brook drops and the guards stay home but this time it’s a little decoy action. Booker is in the dunker and Giannis shades over. Cam Johnson has made his last 3 shots so why not let it fly?

CP- Ayton- Devin Booker
The coverage? Same as usual: you can see Lopez turn his head to be at the charge circle. Middleton stays all the way connected.
This one is a little different because it is a secondary action out of their initial Horns Chest so the defense has already shifted over some. Crowder and Bridges are arguably two guys you shouldn’t help off, that means that Giannis & DiVincenzo are put in incredibly tough spots. Ayton dives to the rim for a score.

Again. Super tough spot for Giannis because CP is staring a hole in Crowder’s direction. As Ryan Pannone always says “eyes sell lies” so don’t buy any of what CP’s eyes are selling.

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Evin Gualberto

Hoops nerd. YouTube editor. Basketball coach. There's nothing a little imagination & a lot of heart can't accomplish