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Basketball Weave-Screen Plays

By Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
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A simple weave-screen play is an effective way to set up an outside shooter for a 3-pointer, or for a dribble-drive into the paint. I am showing this play using a 3-out, 2-in set but you can run it from any set, including the 4-out, 1-in motion offense or the 5-out open post motion offense.

Another situation where this is helpful is when the wing defender is denying the pass to the wing. With this play, you don't have to pass the ball to the wing. It's just a simple, old-fashioned weave-type hand-off from the point guard to the wing player, with the point guard setting the screen.

"W2" & "W3"

Call the play whatever you want - "W2" (meaning the weave-screen is going to O2). Call "W3" for the play to go to O3 instead. With "W2" the point guard dribbles over to O2, makes the handoff to O2 (diagram A), while screening off his/her X2 defender. O2 comes around the screen, takes the hand-off and could pop out for the 3-point shot - this screen usually results in enough spacing for an open shot. Optionally, if the X1 defender plays up tight to deny the outside shot, O2 attacks the defender with a dribble move into the paint for a pull-up jumper.

Weave-Screen Plays Weave-Screen Plays Weave-Screen Plays

"Back" Option

After running W2 or W3 a few times, the opponent starts looking for it, and X2 will come over the screen and jam the hand-off, while X1 "jump-switches" the screen. The counter for this is the "Back" option (diagram C). With the back option, O2 fakes toward the ball, lets the defender come along and then suddenly back-cuts for the bounce pass and lay-up. Notice that we move O4 to the weakside high post to clear O2's path to the basket. If the X5 defender slides over, O2 could pass to O5.


Use this play when you have a talented O4, who can play inside or outside. We get O4 the ball at the top with a handoff screen from O1. Start with O4 on the left wing (like in a 4-out set). O3 first screens for O4 and as O4 comes to the top (diagram A). O1 dribbles at O4 for the weave-screen hand-off (diagram B).

basketball play W4 basketball play W4 basketball play W4

O4 comes around the screen for a shot, or takes it to the hoop (diagram C). If there is not enough spacing inside, we might move O5 out to the short corner. Options are a pass inside to O5 (if the X5 defender slides over to stop O4), or a kick-out pass to O2 (if the X2 defender sags inside).


Here is another extension of the weave hand-off, a back and forth weave pattern. The defense must correctly switch each screen-handoff and usually the defense eventually breaks down, someone fails to switch, and an opening is created. Use a 5-out set with your post players in the corners/short corners, so the inside is wide open for the eventual drive up the middle.

To start the pattern, O1 makes the weave hand-off to O2 just as above. Then O2 dribbles left to the top along the 3-point arc and makes the weave hand-off with O3. O3 then dribbles right, screens and hands-off to O1. O1 then dribbles back left and hands-off to O2.

If O2 is your best scorer, he/she might be able to come around a weave-screen and attack inside with a dribble-drive for a shot or lay-up. Of course any of the players could make the drive inside if the opening is there.

Related page: Weave-Screen Shooting Drills