After winning 10 of their last 12 games, Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer and the Chicago Bulls look like they have really starting coming together.
So what are the reasons for their latest surge?
Well, for one, they can thank the success of Rose and Boozer in running the pick and roll.
The pick and roll is one of the simplest, yet most effective plays in basketball. Execute it well and you will give opposing defenses fits.
However, not all players are fit to successfully run this play.
First, you need an individual—most likely a guard—who excels at handling the ball.
This player must also have the ability to either attack the basket off the pick or hit the open jumper if the defense sags.
Furthermore, they need to possess superior court vision and be a skilled passer in order for them to hit an open pick-man on their subsequent roll or pop.
The pick-man, on the other hand, ought the be both big and strong enough to obstruct the path of the man defending the ball-handler, while also being quick enough to break away from the defense as soon as the ball-handler passes him by.
Furthermore, this player needs to be able to finish around the rim on the roll or pop away from the pick and knock down an open jumper.
Consequently, most traditional, low-post centers lack the quickness, shooting and ability to slash to the basket needed from this spot.
Yet despite these strict requirements, there are still a few combinations in the NBA which have thrived while running the pick and roll throughout the 2010-11 season.
Therefore, the following slides will recap the league's best pick-and-roll combos, naming the involved parties and explaining why they work so well together.
(all pick-and-roll statistics used in this article come courtesy of Synergy Sports)