With Lebron James, there are many different sets that you can use him in, and the Lakers have been using him a lot in the ” A-Set ” offense as of late. Lakers have been using mostly one of Rajon Rondo, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram to initiate the offense.
The other two wings on the floor usually start or end up at in the corner at some point. The four and five are each at an elbow of the high post, Lebron at the four with JaVale McGee at the 5. From there the Lakers can use Lebron in pick and roll combinations, or use him as a decoy.
Because of the gravity Lebron draws while on the court, he soaks up a lot of attention wherever he is on the floor. If Lebron was a terrible finisher, you could just stay with him at all times and let him make contested shots at the rim to beat you. If Lebron was a subpar passer, you could double him and force him to make a pass over two defenders. Unfortunately for defenses, Lebron is a great finisher and amazing passer.
While not all lead to a score, below are six examples of the Lakers using ” A-set ” the past couple games.
Using Lebron as pick and roll ball handler- Here Ingram initiates the offense by dropping the ball to Lebron at the high post. McGee comes over to set a screen on Lebron’s right, allowing him to attack using his strong hand.
Lebron passing out of the high post: This one is a simple example because the basket comes off a poor gamble by the defense. James gets the entry pass from Lonzo at the high post, Josh Okogie comes blindside to try and take advantage of Lebron having his back turned. Gamble fails and Lebron zips it to Ingram for the layup.
Using Ingram in a pick and roll: Lakers start in the Horns formation again, running Ingram across the front of Lebron and Tyson Chandler, getting a pass on the right wing. From there, Chandler comes over and sets a screen for Ingram. The screen is used, and Brandon gets a nice midrange shot to go in.
Going through the reads: Lonzo passes to Ingram on the wing instead of starting at the high post. McGee flashes to the three-point line to get the pass.
After passing to the wing, Lonzo sprints through the lane, running into a Kyle Kuzma/Lebron double screen. Minnesota Timberwolves do a decent job covering Ball as he goes through the screens, although McGee doesn’t wait long enough to get a pass to Lonzo.
When to Lonzo was not there, the secondary play was to go back to Ingram. McGee follows his pass, giving Ingram a screen to use. Brandon loses the ball for a split second, just long enough for Andrew Wiggins to recover off the screen. From here the play breaks down into an Ingram isolation, while also resulting in a bad contested shot.
Using Lebron off the ball: Rondo drops the entry pass to Mcgee in Horns on the left elbow, then immediately goes set a back screen for Lebron. Lowry does a good job hanging around in the lane for a split second, casting doubt for McGee that the cut will be there.
If JaVale had waited a split second longer, Lebron was wide open. However, McGee decides to attack off the dribble, turning the ball over.
Lebron passing out of the high post again: Lonzo dumps the pass to Lebron on the left elbow, the cuts up the middle through James and McGee. Ingram is camping out in the right corner, which is where Lonzo went to set a screen. Brandon uses the screen well and pins Danny Green behind him, but Lebron makes a sloppy behind the back pass at Ingram