Floppy Drive | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Floppy Drive

Time and time again we've all watched Ray Allen run the baseline as his teammates set multiple screens to free him up for his deadly jumper.  Just as Reggie Miller before him, Ray has become the gold standard in the NBA at executing the tail end of this play.  The play, dubbed "Floppy" by the Celtics coaching staff, might be obvious when Rajon Rondo is signaling for it, but it's not so easy to stop when you have an assassin like Ray.

Most of the time, the play is designed to end with Ray shooting a jumper.  It does have a couple of other options that play off of it.  Sometimes the defender(s) will fight through it effectively enough to force Ray into a different option, other times it might be designed to go elsewhere to mix it up a bit.  Take a look at some of the video examples below of the "Floppy" play:

Floppy Play 1and 1a: The first examples are the ones you see most of the time, freeing Ray up for the jumper off a "curl."  In the first clip against the Washington Wizards, Nick Young is guarding Ray and has to fight through two down screens: First by Paul Pierce, second by Kevin Garnett.  Both screen combined give Ray just enough room (he doesn't need much) to drill the jumper.  Note that Andray Blatche does not switch off his man (KG) to jump out at Ray.

In option 1a, it's essentially the same thing against the San Antonio Spurs.  The one exception is that instead of Ray cutting all the way through from one side of the court to the other, he just spins quick on the same side, getting the double screen from Pierce then Big Baby drilling the jumper over Gary Neal.



Floppy Option 2: In the second option against the Orlando Magic, Ray sets up on the baseline waiting for the Big Baby screen instead of running the baseline.  When the first attempt gets snuffed out, he simply does it again but instead of Ray getting the pass, Rondo fools the defense by lofting a pass to a back-door cutting Big Baby for the lay-up.


Floppy Option 3: In this option against the Magic, Ray gets one screen from KG and instead of pulling up for the jumper, he executes a quick bounce pass to KG due to KG's man (Brandon Bass) hedging out to double-team Ray along with Jason Richardson.  In the first example we saw that Blatche chose not to double allowing Ray to shoot.  In this case, even though KG doesn't score, Ray will do this quite often (bounce pass) and execute it to perfection.


Floppy Option 4: In another example against the Magic, Ray initially looks like he's setting a high screen for Rondo.  He them cuts back towards the middle of the lane, using Orlando's own man as the first screen (Dwight Howard) then Big Baby as the second screen, freeing himself up just enough for the three.


Floppy Option 5: Once again, versus Orlando, this time it's a hybrid of "Floppy" and Rondo in the high post.  As Pierce passes to Rondo in the high post, he cuts towards the ball, setting up the screen for Ray.  Ray receives the pass from Rondo and instead of shooting the jumper, he catches Hedu Turkoglu who is half helping, half napping, and passes to Pierce who drains the baseline jumper.  This is similar to the 3rd option, except it's more of a pick-and-pop instead of a pick-and-roll.


Floppy Option 6: In this option against the Detroit Pistons, Nate Robinson passes it to Ray who gets the single screen from Big Baby, but instead of going for the quick jumper, he notices a hole in the lane and drives to the basket for the lay-up.


Floppy Option 7: In this option against the Spurs, the play gets broken up by with some incidental contact, so Ray improvises by just popping out quickly while things are a bit mucked up and still drains the jumper.


Floppy Option 8: Once again, versus the Spurs, Ray gets the double screen from Pierce and Big Baby but then gets double (almost triple teamed).  Instead of forcing the issue, he kicks it out to Rondo who knocks down the wide open jumper.


 Floppy Option 9: One final time against San Antonio, Ray starts his path at the top of the key instead of the basic baseline set, then runs through the baseline using his opponent as the first screen again (Matt Bonner) then his teammate (Jermaine O'Neal) to free himself up for the jumper.  Excellent work by Doc Rivers to use the opponents' defense against themselves.


Just for Fun: In another option against the Jazz, Ray appears as if he's setting a high screen for Rondo, but cuts down through the lane, then around for a three and gets fouled for the 4-point play.


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  • Him using Bonner and Howard as picks is just awesome. This guy is just ridiculous with his court awareness

  • misel

    i always enjoy watching ray running around screens, with his guy chasing him, it’s as if you can hear him saying “come and get me”… haha… and then drilling a jumper or a trey right in front of the opponent’s bench… suh-weet.

  • DRJ

    Idk… my impression, esp when Ray uses the defense against itself, is that these things aren’t planned in detail, and instead he’s just out there winging it. He runs around looking for screens of either jersey color and takes what’s available.