Oklahoma City Thunder Playbook
Billy Donovan led the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Western Conference Finals and was on the verge of upsetting the greatest team maybe to ever play the game of basketball, the Golden State Warriors. His playbook consists of lots of pick and roll and being able to take advantage of his two superstars, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Being able to take advantage of Russell Westbrook’s speed and ability to get by defenders Billy Donovan designs several sets with false motion into the actual action he wants to run.
A few of my favorite sets involve Horns and using Kevin Durant as a ballscreen with Russell Westbrook. Using Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka’s athletic ability in the pick and roll, Billy Donovan designs a great set called “Horns Angle Short.” In this set, he takes away weakside help by bringing the corner man across to the short corner allowing the roll man to run to the rim for a lob.
In a similar set to the lob for the roll man, they use Roberson as the lob man from the weakside corner. Andre Roberson cannot shoot the ball very well, so defenders in the NBA tend to relax and fall asleep when they are guarding him. When this happens they use a pick and roll out of Horns to initiate the action, but Roberson dives to the rim for a lob when his man falls asleep.
Another creative set, Donovan uses Russell Westbrook’s ability to get by defenders on the backdoor cut. Durant comes off a dribble hand off and looks to pass to Westbrook on the wing, when this happens Russ plants and goes backdoor for a layup.
Lastly, my favorite set they Run for Kevin Durant is a set with multiple options for him to score. Kevin Durant sets a ballscreen for Russell Westbrook and then cuts off a backscreen from Steven Adams. After this, Adams sets a ballscreen for Westbrook and Durant continues to set a cross screen for Ibaka. The first look is for Ibaka off the cross screen, then Durant comes off a down screen from Steven Adams. This set has been really effective for the Thunder, with multiple options to score off of.