Greivis Vasquez ranks No. 18 in points per play he finishes as the pick-and-roll ball handler, and Amir Johnson ranks No. 31 as the pick-and-roll screener, according to MySynergySports.
That should make the newly formed Raptors duo pretty formidable, and everyone involved sounds excited about the possibilities.
“When somebody really sets a good screen on my [defender], I’m off to the races,” Vasquez said. “That’s my game. When it’s not a good screen, you have to utilize your skill, your speed, so it tends to be a little bit harder, especially for me. Every time I get a good screen, something is going to come out pretty good, whether it’s a good shot, whether it’s getting it back to Amir [Johnson].”
“[Johnson] doesn’t mind contact. That’s something that he learned from Ben Wallace and those old guys in Detroit, how to set legal screens, how to hit people and understanding it doesn’t hurt if you set it properly and protect yourself. He’s one of the best. You’ll always see him at the end of the game setting screens, understanding angles and timing, because in crucial parts of the game you don’t want [an illegal] screen.”
“Everybody who defends is going to get hit, especially when I set a screen,” Johnson said. “It might be an offensive foul, but I’m going to get a piece.”
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In two games so far, the results have been modestly successful.
Good pick-and-rolls aren’t just about getting opportunities for the dribbler or screener. They create spot-up opportunities, too. So, looking at offensive production as a whole can be quite telling.
When Vasquez and Johnson share the court, Toronto’s offensive rating is 105.0, up a tick from 102.0 for the season. That’s not bad, but keep an eye on these two getting much better as they get a better feel for each other.