Draymond Green and the Art of the Short Roll.

Though the Warriors have had their share of controversy thus far this season, they still find themselves at the top of the Western Conference. Perhaps representative of the team’s “struggles” up to this point is Draymond Green’s lackluster year—Green is averaging lows in PPG, RPG, FG%, and 3P% in his 5 years since being named a starter; despite all that he is still what makes the Warriors tick.

Steve Kerr’s ball movement offense is widely publicized and copied throughout the league, and for good reason. Because of that, the Warriors rarely run straight pick n rolls, due to Kerr not wanting to “alienate” the players outside of their stars.

You can absolutely understand the logic and value of involving everyone in the offense, making it that much harder to defend. But with that in mind, Golden State still finds ways to maximize the playmaking skills of Draymond in the Short Roll.

The Short Roll is, as you can guess, a play in the PNR where the rolling big gets the ball before getting all the way to the basket and from there makes a play based on how the defense reacts. Because of the lethality of Steph’s shooting, the defense often hedges on him in the PNR, meaning the defending big lunges out quickly at him before returning to his man. This can buy the on-ball defender some time to recover over the screen. Still, this requires the next level of defense to be in sync and ready to help wherever necessary.


A week ago against the Pelicans, Draymond Green tore apart the New Orleans’ backline of defense.

This first one isn’t even really a screen set by Green, but it works the same way. Mirotic jumps out to double Steph, who splits the defense with a pass. This requires AD to step up and pressure Draymond, since KD and Klay are spaced to the opposite side of the floor. Iguodola is left open and uses this opportunity to dive to the basket, where Dray hits him for the lob.

In this clip, Curry gets a screen in transition from Draymond, and AD shifts over to help Payton on the ball. Steph hits his big on the roll, and Holiday sinks in to help. However, this leaves KD open in the corner, and Draymond and his great vision finds him for a 3.

This play is very similar to the first video—AD hedges on Steph, Dray gets the ball in the middle of the floor, Mirotic steps up, and McKinney gets a lob over the top. Note how Draymond realistically also had the option of kicking to KD on the wing.

Here’s another drag screen which Holiday does a great job of fighting over, and Randle finds himself way out of position—not helping on the ball and not containing the roll either; he’s in no man’s land. This puts pressure on AD to step out and guard Green, leaving Looney wide open under the basket.

NBAJon ZuckComment