Explain One Play Mailbag #3 & Bonus Video: Disguised Play Calls, Live Reactions, Traveling.

You ask questions, I repeat your question in a high squeaky voice

A list of all Explain One Play articles and videos is at The new Explain One Play index.

I’ve collected some of the questions and answers from the E1P comment sections.

Q3.1. What’s Up With the Subs-Only?

The subscription model we are trying definitely loosens up what I feel like I can write/video about. Here I could actually make a video called "Wiseman improves at boxing out" or (as I really did) "Juan Toscano-Anderson improvises a Hammer screen". In most of the internet, that would get very few clicks, which is bad for business. Here, I can try to talk about what I really want to. We'll see if subscribers will keep supporting that. 

On the other hand, I also value the bigger community that maybe can’t afford a sub. So my current scheme is to have some E1Ps be free and some subs-only.

Q3.2. Traveling?

mDuo13 asks: There were a couple of shuffles that did get called and probably a few that guys got away with this game, but refs never seem to call big moves for traveling. Am I crazy for thinking that?

NBA is super forgiving now of when the gather ends. (Hence Harden’s continuing existence.) I think the Wise spin looked clean to me.  The rule is literally enforced differently now. It used to be reffed as 2 steps plus benefit of doubt on some gather. Then it became official policy to be 2 steps plus gather step. Then Harden started pushing it to 2 steps plus 1.9 gather steps. I personally hate that Harden stroll-back.

AttilaTheHun adds: Even that's different. In the '60s and early '70s it was a step and a half. You took one step and went up (the half step). That was it. No gather BS, no 2 steps nohow. In college it was strictly enforced but even in the NBA it was called.

Q3.3. Play Call Disguises?

Plus Street Uke asks: My rookie question would be are play signs ever disguised?

Good question. GSW hasn’t changed the Head Tap call ever as far as I can tell. They call HORNS with the hand horns signal like most other teams.

Advance scouts go to games (with teams mutual cooperation) and write down the play calls and diagram plays. And a good play should have options to handle typical counters any way. 

In playoff series, after a couple games, teams know the other team’s base playbook anyway.

Q3.4. Live Reaction Videos?

DraymondWantsItMore asks: Ok so I gotta ask... since you are "reacting" and sound like you actually didn't know what play was going to develop... is there just a full game worth of this footage out there with you and the telestrator while you watch the whole game and then you just pick a clip? If the answer is yes, is it sad if someone wants to watch the whole thing? hahaha asking for a friend

This was me reacting to the official NBA highlights of the game. Yes I really don’t know what is going to happen in these Live Reaction ones except that since it’s a highlight, something of note happens.

It’s not sad to want that because that is a beautiful idealized version of me you are imagining. 

When I actually watch the game I am usually just enjoying it as sports drama and I never pause and almost never rewind. 

I’ve been experimenting with process (mainly trying to speed it up to encourage myself to actually do these) and I am currently producing about twice as much as I can use. I’ll release the other commentary over the season, probably when I get too busy to do these for each game.

The closest practical thing to what you’re talking about is if you send me clips that you want me to react to. No guarantees but I am happy to look and maybe it can turn into a shareable video.

So… here’s a hunk of Live Reaction that I cut out of an E1P, but has some interest.

Bonus Video. Explain One Play Live Reaction: Stephen Curry in Three Man Split Cuts

This is a live reaction from earlier in the season (the 2021.1.1 POR-GSW game) when the Warriors said they would “simplify” the playbook.

And if you think I sound so amazed every time the Warriors run a basic play properly or score a basket… just remember what the first two weeks were like.

We see the Warriors offense trying to gel as they play a Blazers team that’s not afraid to pack the paint. You can even see a hint of the box-and-1 look at the end.

GSW run some pick and rolls as well as an advanced three-man version of Steve Kerr’s split cuts.  Co-starring Kelly Oubre Jr,  Draymond Green, James Wiseman, Damion Lee, Eric Paschall, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Stephen Curry.

(Direct YouTube link)