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Warriors use ‘elevator’ screens to perfection to free up their shooters (VIDEO)

Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) shoots a three-point basket as Milwaukee Bucks’ Monta Ellis (11) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)


There are plenty of teams that use variations of a single play to get wide open looks for their best shooters. The Warriors use what’s called an ‘elevator,’ or ‘gator’ action to free up Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for open looks from distance, and do so with both consistency and success.

The video clip above has a compilation of Golden State running the play to perfection, and seeing it multiple times in a row like this is a great way for those not well-versed in the Xs and Os of the game to recognize and understand exactly how teams can execute over and over again in similar situations.

Essentially, it’s a screen set by two players where the third player (the one who will end up being the shooter) will run between them, before the gap is closed like a set of elevator doors slamming shut that prevents the defender from following the shooter through.

The result is Curry and Thompson, the Warriors’ two most deadly shooters, getting loose for wide open looks, usually from three-point distance.

[via Ethan Strauss and Amin Elhassan]