The 4 Sets That Will Make Jabari Parker an NBA Star in His First Season

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The 4 Sets That Will Make Jabari Parker an NBA Star in His First Season
Gerry Broome

If Duke star forward Jabari Parker enters the 2014 NBA draft, he'll be the favorite to win Rookie of the Year in 2014-15.

He owns the size, moves and scoring polish to excel in the NBA early on. He won't be a ridiculously dominant force right out of the gate, but if his team utilizes him properly, he'll stand out as a star.

With the ability to handle the rock, shoot from long range or operate in the post, Parker can be used in a myriad of ways.

Here are some of the most effective sets that will make him a dangerous offensive weapon.

 

1. "Horns" to Left Pinch-Post

The more you watch the NBA, the more you realize how many teams run Horns for their big stars.

It's a basic setup, and it's pretty much a glorified clear-out, but it provides good initial spacing and puts scorers in position to quickly attack.

Duke used it numerous times for Parker throughout the 2013-14 season, and it gave us a nice preview of how his pro team can use him. With a good entry pass and capable shooters to spread the floor, it's often a tricky set to defend.

In this instance, Duke starts in the traditional Horns formation, with Parker setting up shop next to the left elbow, where he's been highly effective all year.

ESPN

Once Parker catches the ball, the left-corner shooter runs the baseline, and everyone rotates to give him ample room to operate. As you can see in this example, he's got room at the pinch-post area to drive right or left, and he's only a couple strides from the basket.

ESPN

I would be downright disappointed if his NBA squad didn't utilize this set a couple of times per game.

It's worth noting that Parker's club could clear out the corner man sooner, giving him the option to get deeper post position for low-block operation.

 

2. Brush Screen Set

If teams want to get the defense scrambling and make it difficult for everyone to rotate, they can use Parker off a brush screen.

In the highlight below during the ACC title game, Duke starts in a familiar set with post players at each elbow (Parker on the right one). Rasheed Sulaimon runs from the left wing across the high post, and then Parker goes right-to-left, using Amile Jefferson as a brush screen to pop out to the left wing.

Once he catches, he can shoot the triple, drive to the bucket or dump it back to Jefferson rolling to the hoop. Here he drives all the way to the rim. Virginia brings help, but it's too late and too deep.

If you watch the play again, you can tell Parker could have dished it to Jefferson, who was open, and he also had shooters set up on the weak side.

Most pro coaches don't run long, complex sets because the shot clock is shorter and the individual talent is better than college. Quick pieces like this one could showcase Parker's inside-out capabilities.

 

3. Triangle High-Post Set

Like many other sets, this one keeps most of the personnel high above the basket, giving playmakers room to roam.

It's a piece that his NBA coach can use when he wants Parker to start out away from the ball and away from the action. With Parker set up on the left side, Duke runs a basket cut and a pick-and-roll option on the right to keep the defense moving.

When Sulaimon comes off the right-side ball-screen, he's got the option to kick it to Jabari, who then has plenty of room and a balanced floor to work with.

Unlike stagnant isolation options, this one keeps everyone involved and doesn't feature an unbalanced clear-out.

With space to drive and finish with his right hand, Parker is so difficult to stop. Even if his man sticks with him, there are too many ways for Jabari to score or create for teammates.

"If he drives, he's going to get two or three points," Mike Krzyzewski told Jeff Benedict of Sports Illustrated. Parker can get a floater, banker or lay-in, and if it doesn't fall he's usually headed to the free-throw line.

 

4. Pick-and-Roll Versatility

The pick-and-roll is probably the most prevalent sequence in all of basketball, and in Parker's case, he can operate either role.

He's got more than enough dribbling skills and court awareness to be the ball-handler, as he could come off screens driving to the hoop, pulling up for jumpers or dishing to the roll man. Parker wasn't much of a passer in college, but he'll be able to make the right plays at the next level.

Here are several examples of LeBron James using pick-and-roll variations. None of these are earth-shattering plays (except the left-handed dunk at the end), so it's not unreasonable to think Parker could enjoy success on similar plays.

As the roll man, he's not going to score predominantly from lobs. Instead, he'll be the beneficiary of pocket passes, using his great hands and footwork to catch and finish with momentum.

In addition, Parker can set ball screens and then serve as a pick-and-pop option on the perimeter. It gives his team a three-point threat and stretches the defense.

 

Dan O'Brien covers the NBA draft for Bleacher Report.

Follow him on Twitter: @DanielO_BR

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