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Basketball Plays for your Point Guard (the 1-Series)

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net


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Some years, our point guard O1 has been one of our best players, and best scorers. So rather than O1 just being a passer and a play-maker, we wanted our O1 to get more shooting opportunities. This page lists and describes plays that we have used to get our point guard good shots. Some have already been posted on this web-site and are linked here. Others ("Off the Break", "51", and "41") are new and are shown below.

Off the Secondary Break

Versus man-to-man defenses, first, (except when fast-breaking) we always come up the floor in our secondary "numbered" break. Our point guard O1 is always the first option in that break. So every trip up the floor, O1 is always looking for a chance to "take the seam" or dribble-penetrate the right top seam for a lay-up, or a pull-up jump-shot. We don't even have a name for this play, but always consider it as our first option every trip down the floor. But you could call it as a separate play.

basketball play - attack the seam off the break

Notice how O2 is wide in the corner, and our posts are both on the left side, opening a large seam for O1 to take his/her defender 1-on-1. If the X2 defender drops inside, or the X5 defender comes up to defend, O1 can pass to O2 or O5 instead. A guard that penetrates the lane is a very difficult situation for the defense, and this also puts pressure on the inside defenders and exposes them to foul problems.
 


"Loyola"

After taking the right seam (above) a couple times, now is a good time to run "Loyola". Loyola is similar, except run into the top left seam. Now the X1 defender is trying to deny that right seam, so we have O1 make a cross-over dribble and attack the left seam. O3 drops deep into the left corner, O4 and O5 move to the right side, and O2 will pop out on top as our safety. The key here is for O1 to be patient, and not attack until he/she sees that the post players are off the to right side and O3 is in the corner (diagram A).

basketball play Loyola basketball play Loyola basketball play Loyola

Notice in diagram C, that if O1 passes out to O3, O1 cross-screens for the opposite post player. We also have O5 back-screen for O4, and then O5 also back-screens for O2 (and then O5 rolls to the hoop). This maintains some movement away from the ball, and keeps those defenders occupied.


"51"

This play is similar to Loyola above, except we give O1 a screen at the top from O5. Also, sometimes it is easier for O1 to start from triple-treat position than off the dribble (as in Loyola). So O1 passes to O2, V-cuts and gets the pass back from O2. Now we have O1 in triple-threat position. O1 waits for O5's back-screen and dribbles hard around the screen into the seam. O3 slides to the corner to open the left seam. O1 can shoot the lay-up (or pull-up jump-shot), pass to O4, pass to O3, or pivot and pass back out on top to O5. Notice that this is not a pick-and-roll play as O5 stays out on top.

basketball play 51 basketball play 51 basketball play 51

If O1 passes back out to O5 (diagram C), O5 and O4 play "hi-lo" (like in the "Big" series) as O4 posts up inside and O1 clears out to the corner.


"41"

This is the same play as "51" above, but run on the opposite side, with O4 making the back-screen for O1. So O1 passes to O3, V-cuts and gets the pass back from O3. O1 waits for O4's back-screen and dribbles hard around the screen into the seam. O2 slides to the corner to open the left seam. O1 can shoot the lay-up (or pull-up jump-shot), pass to O5, pass to O2, or pivot and pass back out on top to O4. Notice again that this is not a pick-and-roll play as O4 stays out on top.

basketball play 41 basketball play 41 basketball play 41

If O1 passes back out to O4 (diagram C), O4 and O5 again run the "hi-lo" option, as O5 posts up inside and O1 clears out to the corner.


More Plays

We like "91" a lot. This play gets O1 either a 3-point shot from the wing, or a 1-on-1 move to the hoop. We can run this either right or left.

The "Pinball" 1-4 low-stack play is a classic play that let's O1 take his defender 1-on-1 from the top of the key. This might be your "game-winner" play when the score is tied and you want your best player O1 to make a play. This works pretty well too if O1's defender has four fouls.

"Redhawk" gives O1 a chance for a 1-on-1 dribble-move from the right wing, as an early option.

If you like the 1-4 high set, run the post-to-point pick and roll option.

Similarly, if you like the 4-out, 1-in motion offense, try the "Fist" pick and roll play. Also, in the 4-out set, although it may seem a bit odd, you can actually use O1 as your inside post player and just get him/her the ball inside. This works if O1 is taller than the X1 defender or if X1 is in foul-trouble. If "Bill" is our point guard, we would just call this from bench as "4-Out to Bill".

The 3-2 Option Series also features O2 making a weave-screen hand-off to O1 for a possible dribble-move to the hoop.


Versus zone defenses... in addition to running your usual zone offense, try "21" and "31" vs the 2-3 zone. "91" (vs the 2-3 zone) also works well for the outside shot option.

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