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Basketball Play - "Baseline 3"

By Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook


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"Baseline-3" is a simple back-door play. You can run this out of a 3-out, 2-in motion offense, or a 1-3-1 offense. The low post player O5 runs the baseline and sets a weak-side screen for the opposite wing O3. We use the label "baseline 3" because it tells our players that our baseline low-post is going to pick for O3, and because the defense might erroneously think that "baseline 3" might mean a 3-point shot from the corner.

Diagram A. Setup:
O1 is at the point, O2 and O3 are on the wings, O5 is low post and O4 is high post. O3 slides down toward the corner. The defender may think O3 is looking for the 3-pointer there.

Diagram B. O1 passes to O2, while O4 comes to the ball-side elbow. O2 will pass to O4 at the elbow. Meanwhile, the baseline post player O5, sprints over and sets a pick for O3.

Baseline-3

Baseline-3

Diagram C. O3 cuts hard around the screen to the hoop. O4 pivots quickly and passes to O3 coming in the "back door". Or the pass can go directly from O2 to O3. O2 slides toward the hoop for either the rebound, or a dish from O3. O1 stays on the point to be back on defense, and also, if the play fails, could get the pass back from O4 for an open 3-point shot.

Diagram D. Option on the screen.
If the X5 defender switches and goes with O3, then O3 clears out, O5 has inside position on the screen and seals the defender and cuts to the hoop for the pass.





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