In this series - we'll explore some of the basic plays that can be initiated by the Hawk set.
The Hawk Set - plays for shooters
As shown above, the Offense starts with the two guards at the high post... one on either side; with a double stack on the low post. A screen-er (usually the 4) at the Free Throw line.
This article will show some options for post up plays.
In the previous article, Mike Prada made a very astute comment. He said that "the initial Hawk cut serves more as an initiator of the set rather than as the finishing move."
That's one of the nice features of the Hawk cut — it's a great "initiator" of offensive sets. You can run a Hawk cut to see if you can get a quick hitter going to the basket or to get a quick post up, then slide into any number of other sets including flex, Princeton, motion, screen/roll, etc. Plus, Hawk has TONS of options — posts for guards and bigs. On-ball screens (side, middle), dribble hand offs (tough to defend), isos, inside-outside game, etc. Basically, it's a very flexible system...
And, as I've tried to convey several times, the plays that I've diagrammed here are only a hand full of probably hundreds of plays, with dozens of options for each play. I don't want to try to teach the entire Hawk Offense - especially since I barely understand the merest basics of the Hawk principals myself - but rather I'd like to try to show a little of what we might see during the season.
During the previous article about plays for shooters, you could see that at the end of each play, there is an opportunity for a post up, by either a guard or a big. For instance, in the first play I diagrammed, and the play they ran over and over again in Summer League, at the end of the play when the two comes off the double staggered screen, the Center agressively posts up, while the SF drifts out to the corner to open up space. If the two doesn't have a shot, the secondary option is to dump a pass into the Center posting up.
In this article, we will explore some plays where the primary option is a post up for a Guard or Big.
This first play was designed by Flip Saunders. He used it in Minnesota to get the ball to Kevin Garnett, and also in Detroit to get Rasheed Wallace low post looks. It just so happens this play gets the ball to the Power Forward (four) at Jamison's favorite spot on the floor. I expect we'll see this play run a lot this year.
So in this play, after setting the screen at the top of the key, the four rolls down into the lane to set a double screen with five for three.... then two sets a cross screen as four goes to the low block. So the Point Guard's first look on this play is to get the ball to four on the low block.
But notice, if we continue to run through options on this play, if the four is not open, the PG can swing the ball to three, and then on to two; where now, five has posted up on the other side of the lane.
The next play is designed to get the Center good low post position. It starts with the four setting a high pick for two. And then a double curl action, with three curling around five, and two curling back around five to the 3-point line. The ball is reversed to four, then two. Five should be aggressively posting. In the mean time, as you can see when you run the animation, there are opportunities for the three curling into the lane, four at the top of the key and two on the wing. If any of those players pop open, obviously they could take the shot.
Tha last play I'd like to show is one that shows a bit different starting position. Note that the Hawk set can be run with any number of starting positions. In this case, three is out at the 3-point line on the wing. Four and two are switched. Two steps out to set the screen for four. This play is a simple play to get four a look in the low post. If four is not open, one can swing the ball to two, or three. Either on should have a clean pass to five, posting up on the other side.
Next article - I'll explore some options for Pick and roll, pick and pop plays in the Hawk Set.