Laker Film Room’s Offense by Set statistics are an attempt to track how well the Lakers perform when running specific actions and plays. The very nature of this project is inexact, as we have to identify, triage, and name each play without access to the Lakers’ coaching staff. One coach could separate these plays and actions into 8 different categories, while another could separate them into 100. Neither would technically be wrong, and neither interpretation would align perfectly with that of the Lakers’ coaching staff. Despite the challenges of collecting and presenting this data, we feel that this is a worthwhile endeavor to provide insight as to how the Lakers create shots and how effective they are within each variation.
The data is measured by the first action of a play, and only considers plays that end in a field goal attempt, free throw attempt, or turnover.
For example, the Lakers may try to run Pistol, but if the initial Pistol action doesn’t work, that possession may end with an isolation situation that is outside of any recognizable Pistol action. This would still be categorized as a “Pistol” play, because that is how the play began, and the denigration of the set into an isolation situation is the result of the team’s inability to get deep enough into the progression of the Pistol action. There are very few plays in the NBA where you start out running one set and transition into another. When that does happen, it will be noted in the data. The most common example for the Lakers is that they often run Motion Strong or Down One into Horns. These plays are categorized as Horns, because that is where the scoring opportunities take place.