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Basketball Plays - Last Second Situations

by Coach Joao Costa
From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net

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This article has been generously shared with the Coach's Clipboard by Coach Joao Costa (JC) who played professional basketball in Europe. He subsequently moved to the United States to expand his knowledge of the game and train to be a basketball coach, and now lives in Seattle, Washington. Coach JC started his coaching career in the United States and coached in the Seattle area before going on the road to develop his coaching techniques. Coach JC has participated in practices and observed the coaching techniques of some of the best NCAA Coaches in the country: Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Coach Roy Williams, Coach Eddie Sutton, Coach Hubie Brown, Coach Tom Newell, Coach Bob Bender... just to name a few. Coach JC has been coaching in USA for several years, ABA, WBA, ProAm as well as internationally, and has conducted coaches clinics and basketball camps around the World. He has been a featured guest speaker on both the national and international level. Visit Coach JC's web-site.


Last Second Situations


As a coach, I like to emphasis last second plays during the final ten minutes of practice. Players don't need a lot of plays to memorize; they need solid, basic skills, good conditioning, and a few plays that they can perform well when called upon to do so. For sure, practice these plays and especially the press breaks and inbounds plays, since they are used so often.

Players should understand the tempo of the game. There are three speeds in basketball: slow, fast and faster. Without knowing how to control themselves between these speeds, a player will be limited.

The trick is to focus your team on aggressively trying to score and not just to get the ball inbounds, but to make some points off the inbounds play.

Here are several last second plays for when the clock is running out: Write down your last second plays on a card and keep it in your pocket for when you really need it.


Last Seconds of the Game - Half-Court Quick Hitter
Player 4 sets a pick for 1.
Player 1 dribbles to the right wing.
Player 2 screens for 3 at baseline and 5 at elbow.
Player 1 can pass to 5 inside the lane or 3 at deep corner for a shot.
Last second basketball play


Three Seconds Remaining - Sideline Inbounds Play
Player 4 comes up to screen 3 with 5.
Player 5 after screens 3; down screens for 2 who flashes to the top of the key.
Player 1 looks to hit 3 at ballside corner or 2 at the top of the key or a shot.
Last second basketball play


One Second Remaining - Sideline Inbounds Play
Player 3 screens for 2.
Player 2 goes to ballside corner.
Player 1 back screens for 5.
Player 5 cuts aggressively to the basket to get a lob pass from 4 for a dunk.
Last second basketball play


One Second Remaining - Baseline Inbounds Play
This inbounds play is great against a man-to-man defense that you may find most useful as an end-of-game out of bounds play. This play can be run when there are seconds or tenths of seconds left.

When the official hands the ball to 1 at sometime player 3 breaks to weakside wing, player 5 flashes to the high elbow and player 2 cuts baseline to ballside corner to create a distraction and space for his teammate 4 in the box. With no backside help, 1 lobs the ball to 4 for a catch-and-shoot in the air.

If there are less than four-tenths of a second left, 4 will have to tap it in. This is a great play, very simple to memorize and works well.
Last second basketball play


Five Seconds Remaining - Baseline Inbounds Play
As a basketball coach, don't be afraid to shuffle players according to their strengths. Set up your best finisher, and use your best basketball passer for inbounding even if he or she is also your best shooter. The play starts when the official hands the ball to the inbounder 3. Remember that all players on the court watch the official and the player inbounding the ball. The play starts when the official hands the ball to the inbounder. Taking the time to slap the ball to signal the start of the play is a waste of a part of your five seconds that you have to inbound the ball.

Player 2 stands at opposite low post block.
Players 4 and 5 screen for 2 at baseline.
Player 2 gets the inbound pass from 3 at corner for a jump shot. If 2 can't shoot from the ballside corner then 3, after inbounding, steps into court to receive a screen by 1 at opposite elbow to the ballside wing to get the reverse pass from 2 for a jump shot.
Last second basketball play



One Second Remaining - Full-Court Inbounds Play
Player 2 begins the play by screening 3's defender at baseline.
Player 3 runs outside of baseline to throwing the ball to players 4 or 5 to catch and shoot.
Last second basketball play



Few Seconds Remaining - Full-Court Inbounds Play and You Need a 3-Pointer
You only have a few seconds left and must go the length of the floor, and you need a three-pointer. This play might at least get you a final shot. It's the moment every player dreams about -- taking the shot to win the game at the buzzer.

Player 5 breaks to the ballside to get the inbound pass from 4.
Players 3 and 1 screen for 2, the shooter.
Player 2 runs down the court to get the pass from 5 for a jump shot.
Last second basketball play



Three Seconds Remaining - Full-Court Inbounds Play
If you're trying to score quick, you want a play that also has spacing and has an opportunity to catch and go. That's what we try to do.

Players 1 and 2 break opposite sides of the court to open up for player 4 who is being screened by 5.
Player 3 throws the ball to 4, then 5 cuts to the basket to get the pass from 4 for lay-up.
Last second basketball play



Four Seconds Remaining - Full-Court Inbounds Play
Player 1 begins the play by breaking towards the inbounder.
Players 2 and 3 screens for 1.
Player 4 inbounds the ball to 1.
Player 1 looks for 2, who sprints down the court, to get the pass from 1 for a jump shot.
Last second basketball play


Related pages: Last Second, Half-Court "Buzzer-Beater" Plays, Last Second, Full-Court "Buzzer-Beater" Plays.


Many helpful DVDs:


Many DVDs of basketball plays at the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD Store!
Special Situations & Inbounds Plays
Many more basketball DVDs at the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD Store! In additon to many baseline and sideline out-of-bounds plays, some of the greatest basketball coaches today stress the importance of special situations that can often determine the outcomes of close games. Situations discussed include: Opening tip, free-throw situations, end of shot clock, end of half, down with under two-minutes and inbounds plays. Each play featured in this category is designed to place you and your players in the best position to win.



Many DVDs of basketball plays at the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD Store!
Basketball Set Plays
There are many DVDs of set plays in the Coach's Clipboard Basketball DVD Store... too numerous to list here! Basketball plays that the the best coaches discuss through numerous basketball DVDs are designed to demonstrate how to effectively execute set plays in special situations that can determine the outcome of a game. Areas covered include man and zone plays, out-of-bounds plays, endline and sideline sets designed to score under different time situations and end-of-game plays designed to score as well as get a 3-point shot. There are DVDs with special plays for motion offenses, 4-out 1-in offense, 1-4 high offense, flex offense, pick and roll offense, and others.