SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs are running one of LaMarcus Aldridge's favorite plays to get Jakob Poeltl easy points.
San Antonio's starting center is impactful in a lot of ways, but not someone who gets a lot of plays drawn up for him on offense. Aldridge he is not, but this tricky misdirection play gets mismatches often and lobs from time to time.
"Milwaukee" is one name for this play design, and mostly the goal is to set the center up deep in the post with a smaller defender on him. Poeltl sneakily has an array of practical moves he can deploy when the Spurs run this set all the way through, and if Derrick White is on the floor, he unlocks a higher level of the play with his ability to pass over the top.
It starts with Poeltl screening for White on an Iverson cut across the court, receiving the pass on the wing as Vassell clears the area, presumably to go to the opposite corner.
But Vassell doesn't clear to the corner, he sets a screen on Poeltl's defender and gives the big man a lane to the basket. If the defense is flat-footed and the pass is on point, it could be a dunk or alley-oop.
If the lob isn't there, the guard can simply wait for Poeltl to relocate to the block. The screen will almost always be good enough to force a smaller defender to switch onto Jak, which puts him in a situation to succeed as he to continues developing his post-up game.
Over the last ten games, Poeltl is averaging 14.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.7 blocks, and 0.9 steals. He's among the league leaders in offensive boards, screen assists, blocks and shot contests, and does all the dirty work for San Antonio.
If he can grow into more of a problem on the block, it will only make him more dangerous.