I saw this on Clutchfans regarding an interview Lin did with “Coach Nick” of BBallbreakdown, in which Lin revealed that his favorite offensive set is the backside pick-and-roll. Here’s a clip of some examples of this offensive set:
From Clutchfans: “As Jeremy explained, the initial high pick-and-pop is just false motion to get the defense moving and disguise the Rockets’ true intent. In reality, what they’re looking to execute is a backside pick-and-roll/dribble hand-off.”
The Thunder and Spurs use this set. I suspect that Harden is the one who brought this play to McHale’s attention. And it is a play that is often used for Harden. I don’t have any data on this, but I would guess that 80% of the time, they run this play for a PnR on the right side, which favors a left-handed ball handler (i.e., Harden). I don’t see them do this on the left side much, which would favor Lin. Also, I would guess that 70% of the time, this play is run for Harden. So it’s interesting, yet not surprising, that this is Lin’s favorite play.
Unfortunately for Lin, he doesn’t get to play the role of ball handler in this play much. He’s usually just the glorified ball boy who drops off the ball to the high pick-and-pop guy. So basically, McHale uses this play so Lin can bring the ball up the court and have Harden end up being the ball-handler. If only McHale would call this play for when Lin is hiding in the left corner, Lin would incredibly effective. I can see why this is Lin’s favorite play even though this play is meant for Harden. I’m sure Lin would love it even more if he gets to be the ball handler in this play. This is exactly the type of play Lin would excel in, not that McHale cares.