Analysis: Pick and roll created offense

Pick and roll play was the gold standard of ABA League offenses this season.

(Photo: Synergy Sports Technology)

The end of the ABA League season is almost here, and there are plenty of trends that have revealed themselves over the course of the season. This season, around 40% of all possessions were used by a ball handler in the pick and roll or created by one of their passes. That number is down slightly from a season ago, but teams continue to use ball screen actions as a key part of their offensive gameplan.

Digging Deeper

The graph above compares the percentage of total possessions each team has created with pick and rolls to their number of points per possession they score on those opportunities. It reveals a few things about the ABA League in general.

First, every team relies on pick and roll play in some capacity. No team generates less than 29% of their possessions with pick and rolls and no team creates more than 40%. The thing that differentiates each team is how many ball handlers the rely on to create out of the pick and roll. Some teams rely heavily on one individual while others use multiple guards and even some forwards in ball screen actions.

Second, the ABA League’s top two teams in the standings and offensive efficiency leaderboards are also the top two teams in pick and roll offensive efficiency. Cedevita has thrived in the pick and roll this season, especially late in the year. The addition of Jacob Pullen has lifted their scoring efficiency while they have steadily ranked as one of the top floor spacing teams all season. Crvena zvezda mts has been consistently effective from the start of the season with Joe Ragland and Billy Baron leading the charge.

Interestingly, neither team’s roll men have played a very large role in their success.

The opposite is true of Igokea whose lob and slip threats have made them the league’s top roll scoring team and the top overall pick and roll scoring team in the league this season. They are joined by FMP and Mornar as the league’s three most productive pick and roll scoring teams. Igokea and Mornar are also two of the ABA League’s lowest-mistake teams in the pick and roll. Their low ball screen turnover rate has been a big part of why each team has scored so much this season.

High level pick and roll scoring requires a team effort, and the ABA League has no shortage of units finding success creating offense with ball screens.

Insights and Statistics Provided by Synergy Sports Technology