2016 Late Game NBA Hammer Action Playbook by John Zall

2016 Late Game NBA Hammer Action Playbook

2016 Late Game NBA Hammer Action Playbook by John Zall

The consistent area that all NBA Head Coaches are judged on is their late clock ATO’s. ATO stands for “After Time Outs” and usually insinuates that the Coach had just had a chance to huddle his team up and draw up a play that puts their team in the best position to win. These opportunities can happen at any point during a game, but are usually most prevalent during the 4th quarter of a close game or in the final minute of any quarter.  The 2016 Late Game NBA Hammer Action Playbook will show you all this clips and plays diagrammed for your team.

As you can see from watching all these clips that there seems to be some sort of consistent theme where coaches will run a specific action on the strong side of the floor (the side where the ball is) in hopes of catching the defense resting on the weak side and getting a wide open shot.

A popular NBA action that revolves around that very premise is the “hammer” action. In the hammer action, a weak side back screen or flare screen is set to spring a shooter to the corner. The ball is usually on the opposite wing and is being driven by the teams best ball handler towards the baseline setting up a perfectly timed drift pass to the open shooter in the corner. Teams have also mixed this up and had players in the post catching the ball and spinning towards the baseline to make the pass or even having the ball handler drive towards the middles.

2016 Late Game NBA Hammer Action Playbook

All of these sets in the accompanying video and diagram are either from the NBA Playoffs or during “crunch time” of a close Regular Season game. According to the ESPN, the NBA defines crunch time as “less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime with neither team ahead by more than five points.” During these moments the focus on players and coaches intensifies, and the great ones usually save their best for last.


John ZallClick here to follow Coach John Zall on Twitter!!!

John Zall BIO:

Coach John Zall just completed his first season working for the Dallas Mavericks in their Player Development Department where they advanced to the First Round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs.  Prior to joining the Mavericks, Coach Zall served as an Assistant Coach at Division II Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH for 2 seasons. During his 2 seasons there, Franklin Pierce University finished with a winning record and in 2014 advanced to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.  Zall arrived at Franklin Pierce after spending the past 3 seasons as the Associate Head Coach/Head JV Coach at O’Bryant High school in Roxbury, MA. During his tenure at O’Bryant the program improved from 4 wins to 12 wins and qualified for the MIAA State Tournament twice.


Coach Zall also has experience as an AAU Head Coach for the Boston Warriors. As Head Coach for the Warriors his team won the 2011 16U State Title and twice competed in AAU Nationals down in Orlando, FL.  On top of being a student at Northeastern University, Zall was named Head Coach of the Men’s Club Basketball team for the 2012-13 season.  During his lone season as Head Coach, Northeastern finished second in the Northeast Regional Tournament featuring colleges from throughout the East Coast.  Coach Zall has also spent time as a Head Coach in the Bay State Games where his team won the Bronze Medal in 2012 and at various camps including: Five Star, Boston Celtics, NIKE, Franklin Pierce University, Hoop Group and The Elite 75.

Click on the pdf link to download the 2016 Late Game NBA Hammer Action Playbook:

2016 Late Game NBA Hammer Action Playbook by John Zall

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.