This post is a quick break from all of the trade rumors — a quick glance at a nice piece of trickery brought to you by director Brad Stevens and starring Phil Pressey and Kelly Olynyk in the feature film “A Cool Set During Monday Night’s Win Over Milwaukee.” Here it is, in full:
We join our protagonists midway through the fourth quarter, as the Celtics are beginning to pull away. Pressey and Jared Sullinger run some quick pick-and-roll action, but instead of rolling all the way to the basket, Sully stops around the left elbow, leaving the lane clear. Meanwhile, Olynyk is setting a not-so-subtle back-screen on Milwaukee forward Khris Middleton.
Although Olynyk makes absolutely certain Middleton feels the screen, it’s not dirty. Instead, it accomplishes what he wants it to do — Middleton is made aware of Olynyk’s presence and he looks around to check that someone else is going to be able to pick up his man if he stays put and simply fronts Olynyk.
Sure enough, John Henson (pre-ankle injury…be well) has the corner covered, and as Pressey dribbles — apparently allowing the screen to do its job — Henson shifts closer and closer to Jeff Green. If Pressey tries that risky skip pass, Henson will likely be able to tap it out of bounds at worst, steal it at best.
Then Olynyk makes his move. With Middleton fronting him and giving him the over-the-top lob and with Henson helping on Green, Pressey is able to lead Olynyk toward the middle of the lane — away from both Middleton and Henson. Olynyk uses the rim wisely to protect himself from Henson’s absurdly long arms and converts the layup.
Once again, this particular play had none of the season-changing impact of many of the stories leading up to the trade deadline, but it was a fun reminder that actual basketball players — not just trade chips — exist on this squad, and they are coached by a fun, creative coach. Enjoy them while you can.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.