Sergio Hernandez coached the Argentinean National Basketball League clubs Deportivo Roca Rio Negro, Regatas San Nicolas, and Estudiantes Olivarria, where he won two titles, one FIBA Pan-American Championship, and one South American League for clubs. He then moved to Boca Juniors, winning one title and one South American Championship title for clubs. He was also selected Argentinean Coach of the Year three times. In 2005, he started to coach the men's national team, finishing in fourth place at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.
We tried to flow into offense very quickly every time. We were also able to slow the tempo, based on the situation on the court. Both guards were able to alternate moving the ball on offense, while the power forward or the center were in charge of inbounding the ball.
The big man, who was not the inbounder, sprinted down the middle of the floor to take position close to the basket. The inbounder trailed behind his other four teammates.
We showed a very good transition from the full court to the half court offense. The guard without the ball and the small forward sprinted the floor wide and deep on the outside lanes, looking to get ahead of the defense. We were able to get the offense flowing into offensive transition with the aim of playing a "highlow game" between 4 and 5. Getting the ball inside was a priority.
On-ball screens (pick-and-roll) were used in full court transition and the trailer 5 screened down for the wings, who often changed sides in "crossing" cuts. We often started the half-court offense with a high-low post set, or “horns” set.
I will now describe some of the various plays designed to meet the specific roles for our players.
All guards were excellent ballhandlers. Their main attacking moves were the hesitation, crossover, and change-ofpace dribble.
Each player could shoot well from the perimeter and were able to effectively use the dribble penetration to get to the basket. Their ability to pass off the dribble was outstanding.
They were also very good at taking, and making, a "pull-up" jump shot, as well as driving hard to the basket and finishing it off "in traffic" with a layup. In short, they were excellent at reading the defense and knowing when to change the tempo of the play.
The forwards were very athletic and ran the floor with great understanding of space and positioning. Each player passed the ball well in the half court and possessed an excellent ability to pass the ball to the open player, either inside or outside. The forwards had good range on their perimeter shots with the "catch and shoot" and pull-up jump shot. In addition, they had the skill, quickness, and strength to play inside and outside.
Outstanding rebounders under the offensive and defensive boards, our centers also had good medium-range jump shots and very effective moves inside. The jump hook was a favorite. In addition, they shot well from the low- and high-post position and passed well to teammates cutting to the basket from the perimeter.
PLAYS FOR 5 OBERTO
5, Fabricio Oberto, the center, sets an on-ball screen for 1, while 4, the first trailer, cuts to the low-post position (diagr. 1). 1 dribbles off the 5's screen, who then rolls to the basket to receive the ball and shoot (diagr. 2).
If 5 is the first trailer and goes deep in the lane under the basket, 4 plays pick-androll on the ball for 1, and then 4 rolls to the free-throw area (diagr. 3). 1 dribbles toward the opposite wing 2, who cuts to the baseline (diagr. 4).
2 receives the ball from 1 on the low post and passes it to 5 for the shot (diagr. 5).
If 4 is the first trailer, he cuts in the lane to the opposite corner, while 5 delays his cut for a moment, and then goes deep in the lane under the rim.
1 is the ball handler on the left side of the court, in this case (diagr. 6). 1 passes to 3 and 3 passes to 5, who has sealed his defender in the lane, so he can now take the shot (diagr. 7).
PLAY FOR 5 OBERTO
The set is a one-four formation on the free-throw line extension, with 4 and 5 at the elbows of the free-throw line, 2 and 3 at the wings, and 1, with the ball, in the middle of the court. 1 passes to 3 while 4 screens for 5, who goes to the low post on the other side of the court (diagr. 8).
After the pass, 1 cuts in the lane and goes off 5 on the other wing position. 4 then screens for 2, who cuts in the lane and looks to receive the ball from 3 (diagr. 9). 4, after the screen, pops out, receives the ball from 3, and 3 screens down for 2. 4 can pass to 2 (diagr. 10).
If 4 cannot pass to 2, he passes the ball to 1, and goes in the low-post position. In the meantime, 3, after the screen, cuts in the lane and goes off the screen of 5. 1 passes to 3 and 3 passes to 5 on the low post (diagr. 11).
PLAYS FOR 4 SCOLA
4, Luis Scola, the power forward, and 5 set up high and low. 3 is in the corner, 2 at the foul-line extension, and 1 is the ball handler (diagr. 12). 1 passes to 2, 2 passes back to 1, and then cuts off 4's screen (diagr. 13). 1 passes to 2, 4 now sets an on-ball screen for 2, who then dribbles off 4. After the screen, 4 rolls to the basket and receives a pass from 2: if he cannot shoot, he passes to 5 if 5's defender comes out to help. (diagr. 14).
5 and 4 are set at the high-post position, at the elbows of the free-throw area, 2 and 3 are in the corners, and 1 has the ball in the middle of the floor. 1 passes to 4 and cuts off 5's screen (diagr. 15). 4 passes back to 1, receives a diagonal screen from 3, cuts off 3's screen, and goes on the low post position (diagr. 16).
5 sets a down screen (screen-the-screener action) for 3, who cuts high (diagr. 17). 4 sets an on-ball screen for 1, rolls to basket, and receives the ball from 1, while 5 pops out to clear the lane (diagr. 18).
PLAY FOR 3 NOCIONI
5 is set at the elbow of the free-throw area, 4 at the low post on the opposite side, 2 and 3 (Andres Nocioni) are on the wings, and 1 has the ball. 1 passes to 5, follows the pass and receives the ball back with a hand-off pass, while 2 cuts in the lane.
At the same time, 4 steps out and screens for 3, who goes out on the other side of the court (diagr. 19). 4 and 5 set a staggered screen for 2, who comes out in the middle of the court (diagr. 20). After the screen for 3, 4 flares out in the wing position, while 5 screens again for 3. 2 receives the ball from 1, and passes to 3 (diagr. 21).
PLAYS FOR 2 GINOBILI OR 3 NOCIONI
Using the same set as the previous one, except that after the pass from 1 to 5, and the hand-off pass from 5 to 1, 3 crosses in the lane and goes to the opposite side of the court. At the same time, 2 (Manu Ginobili) cuts in the lane (diagr. 22). Right after the hand-off pass, 5 makes a staggered screen with 4 for 2. 1 can now pass to 3 or else to 2, who comes off the staggered screen (diagr. 23).
4 and 5 are set at the elbows of the free-throw area, 2 and 3 at the corners, and 1 is the ball handler. 1 passes to 5, follows the pass and receives the ball back with a hand-off pass.
At the same time, 4 steps out and down-screens for 3, who cuts in the lane and posts down, while 2 cuts also in the lane on the baseline (diagr. 24).
4 and 5 set a staggered screen on 2, who comes off high. 1 can pass to him (diagr. 25). After the screen, 5 pops out of the lane and 4 makes another screen for 3, who comes high and receives the ball from 2 (diagr. 26).
This play is run for Ginobili, who is the inbounder. 5 is under the rim, 1 in the low post on the ball side with 3, while 4 is out of the three-point line. 3 screens for 1, who runs out off the screen on the ball side (diagr. 27).
2 passes the ball to 1 and 1 passes to 4, while 5 screens for 3 (diagr. 28).
After the pass to 1, 2 enters the court and screens for 5, who then posts down low, and 4 passes to 3 (diagr. 29).
4 down screens for 2 (screen-thescreener action), who runs out high and receives from 3 (diagr. 30).
1 is on the free-throw line extension, 5 and 4 at the elbows of the free-throw area, 3 faces 4 outside of the three-point line, and 2 is the inbounder. 5 steps out and screens 1, and then rolls down to the low post on the same side of the court. In the meantime, 3 cuts off the screen of 4 and posts down on the ball side (diagr. 31).
After the inbound pass, 2 moves off the screens of 3 and 5, while 4 screens down 3 (screen-the-screener action). 3 runs high to receive the ball from 1, who can also pass the ball to 2 (diagr. 32).