Breaking down Channing Frye's game-winners

For the second consecutive night Channing Frye did his best Michael Jordan impression, as he calmly drilled yet another overtime game-winner, this time against the New Jersey Nets to put the Suns up 104-103 with 6.6 seconds remaining.

The Suns ran the same out of bounds set that got Frye the open look Sunday afternoon against the Pacers, only this time they added a slight wrinkle to give Phoenix more time in case of a miss.

We’re going to take a look at both plays, why they were effective and how the Suns switched things up tonight against New Jersey. First, we’ll break down what the Suns did against the Pacers. Below is how Alvin Gentry drew it up (courtesy of FastDraw), with Marcin Gortat and Frye at the elbows, Jared Dudley on the right wing and Steve Nash in the right corner.

(Actual Screenshot)

From there Nash is going to come off of a double-screen, set by Dudley and Frye, as you can see below. While Nash is coming around the screens, Gortat posts up on the strong side to give Hill a safety outlet, while creating space for the play to develop.

(Actual Screenshot)

Nash then receives the ball from Hill, while Dudley plants on his right foot and sets a back screen for Frye. Channing uses the screen and executes a flare cut to the right wing, where he receives the ball from Nash, pump fakes and ultimately knocks down the game-winner as the buzzer sounds.

(Actual Screenshots)

And finally, here’s the play in full video form:

Frye put the Suns on his backs again Monday night as Gentry ran in effect the same play as above with a few wrinkles. The play against Indiana took exactly 3.5 seconds and with the Suns down two with 9.0 seconds left they wanted to get off a good look as quickly as possible so there would still be time for an offensive rebound or a foul.

Despite the wrinkle, the set-up was the same, except Aaron Brooks took Dudley’s place.

(Actual Screenshot)

This time, instead of bringing Nash off a double screen, the Suns are going to send Brooks to the opposite corner to space the floor and give them another option. After Brooks goes through Nash comes off a Frye screen, but this time, Nash doesn’t flash to the ball.

Frye’s screen is ineffective as the defender fights over the top. But Nash never planned on receiving the ball anyway, and he runs to the free throw line to build a wall for Frye.

But Nash clearly isn’t a big enough presence to pave the way for Frye, so Gortat cuts across from the opposite elbow to set a pick on Kris Humphries. Humphries is unable to fight through Gortat’s screen and Frye has plenty of room to get off the three-pointer. Hill makes the direct pass to Frye at the top of the key and Channing collects himself and stokes the go-ahead triple.

(Actual Screenshots)

So in effect, Gentry called the same play with a few variations to give the Suns another option in the corner with Brooks, while providing more space for Frye with a double-screen of sorts. Overall, a great job by Gentry to draw up this game-saving play, and an even better job by Frye to knock down the open shots.

Here’s the play in full video form:

This is a play the Suns have run several times in situations like this in the past, the only difference is Frye knocked down the shots these times. Below is a the same exact play against the Pistons, but Frye couldn’t make the triple and Phoenix fell in Detroit.

Tags: Channing Frye

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