Basketball Plays: 3-Point PlaysBy Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
There are times in a game when you really need an open 3-point shot. Here are several plays you can use... half-court man-to-man quick hitters, zone plays, sideline inbounds, and baseline inbounds plays.
- Big Double
- 2-3 Zone Play - Iowa
- 4-Out Zone Play - Larry
- Sideline Inbounds - Triangle
- Baseline Inbounds - Box-2
"Gate-3"This play gives us three looks (options) for getting an open 3-point shot, using the "elevator" screen.
See diagram 1. O3 clears to the opposite corner. O1 dribbles toward O2 and hands-off to O2. As O2 dribbles up top, O1 cuts through the elevator screen created by O4 and O5. As O1 cuts through, O4 and O5 close the door. O2 passes to O1 for the 3-point shot (diagram 2), as O3, O4 and O5 go for the offensive rebound.
If the shot is not open, O1 dribbles back up top (diagram 3) as O2 cuts through the elevator screen. O1 passes to O2 for the open 3-point shot (diagram 4), as O3, O4 and O5 go for the offensive rebound.
If O2's shot is not open, O1 fades to the left wing (diagram 5). O5 down-screens for O4. O4 cuts hard to the top for the pass from O2 and the 3-point shot (diagram 6).
"Horns-3"This play, also from coach Roy Rana, starts with the "Horns" set and uses three double-staggered screens for a sequence of three possible 3-point shots.
See diagram 7. Note the horns set with the wings deep in the corners and the post players O4 and O5 up high facing the point guard with one foot outside the 3-point arc. O1 dribbles over O4 to the right wing. O4 and O5 relocate to set a staggered double-screen. O2 cuts hard around the double screen (diagram 8), for the pass from O1 and the 3-point shot at the top.
Diagram 9. If O2 does not have an open shot, note that O4 and O5 have again relocated to set a staggered double-screen for O3. O3 cuts under the double-screen (diagram 10) for the pass from O2 and the 3-point shot.
If O3 is not open for the shot, O3 dribbles up to the top (diagram 11), as O1 and O2 rotate over to the corner and wing respectively. O4 and O5 relocate inside to set up the last staggered double-screen, this time a baseline screen for O1. O1 cuts to the opposite corner (diagram 12) for the pass from O3 and the 3-point shot.
See this video from Coach Roy Rana:
"Kentucky""Kentucky-2" and "Kentucky-3" are the same play with the former run to the right side and the later run to the left. We run these out of our 3-out, 2-in motion set.
"Kentucky-2"This play gives our O2 an excellent chance for a three-pointer. See diagram A. The play starts with a weave screen with O1 dribbling toward O2, handing off and screening for O2. Meanwhile, O5 cuts up to the weakside arc. O3 initially slides toward the corner (for spacing) but will eventually move back outside.
See diagram B. O2 dribbles toward the point and passes to O5. To get good spacing, it is important for O2 to dribble high to the top, even with the lane line. O4 picks for O1 who cuts around the screen, eventually out to the opposite corner. O5 can pass to O1 inside as our first "early" option. After screening for O1, O4 moves up and backscreens for O2.
See diagram C. O2 cuts around the back-screen and flares to the wing-corner area. O5 skips passes "over the top" to O2. After back-screening for O2, O4 rolls to the ball-side low post. O2 has the option of shooting the three-pointer, or passing inside to O4 in the low post. If the pass to O2 is denied, then O4 can post up inside and O5 can make the "hi-lo" pass to O4. Notice the weakside rotation after O5 passes to O2... O5 drops to the elbow, O3 rotates out to the point and O1 rotates to the left wing.
Another option is the "slip" (diagram C). After O2 hits a couple of "3's", the defense may switch the O4-on-O2 screen. If the defense switches O4's screen on O2, O4 slips the screen, and cuts hard through the lane to the hoop, for the pass (red arrow) from O5.
"Kentucky-3"This is the same as "Kentucky-2" except to the left side. See the diagrams below. O1 dribbles left, hands off to and screens for O3. O3 dribbles toward the top and passes to O4 who has moved out on top. O5 screens for both O1 and O3. O4 looks for O1 cutting inside, or for the over-the-top pass to O3. After screening for O3, O5 cuts to the ballside block. O5 could get the pass from either O3, or directly from O4 ("slip" option) if the defense overplays the O5-on-O3 screen.
"Elevator"This is another play that uses the "elevator" screen used at the high post (diagram B below). We start with O5 and O4 setting up at the free-throw line, just far enough apart so that O2 can cut between them (diagram A). O2 first cuts to the low block and screens for O3, who moves out to the right corner. O1 dribbles to the right side and could pass to O3 as the first 3-point option.
Meanwhile, O2 cuts up the lane, through the elevator screen, and O5 and O4 quickly slide together, or "close the door" of the elevator, so that the X2 defender cannot get through. O1 passes to O2 for the 3-point shot at the top of the key.
"91"We can run this play against either man-to-man or zone defenses, and we can run it either right or left, depending on which post player receives the first pass from O1. See the diagrams below. O4 and O5 move up to the top. O1 passes to either O4 or O5. The opposite post (in this case O4), sets a backscreen for O1. O1 flares to the wing. Meanwhile the wing (O2 in this case) cuts inside. The pass goes over the top to O1 on the wing (diagram B) for the 3-point shot.
Here is the second option if O1 is not open for the shot. O5 and O4 have set staggered screens inside for O2. O2 cuts around the screens to the top (diagram C) for the pass from O1 and the 3-point shot.
"Jayhawk"Jayhawk is designed to get a 3-point shot for our best shooter O2. O2 starts low inside (diagram A) as O5 slides up to the elbow. O4 ball-screens for O1 and rolls down the left side of the lane, while O1 dribbles left over the screen. O3 slides to the corner. A pass from O1 to O4 would be an option if we didn't need a 3-point shot. But here we are looking for O2 at the top. O5 down-screens for O2. O2 cuts around O5's screen for the pass from O1 and the 3-point shot.
"Big-Double"We run this simple play out of our 4-out motion offense. The play starts with passes from O1 to O4 and from O4 to O3. O1 and O4 set a staggered double-screen for O2. O2 cuts around the staggered screens looking for the pass from O3 and the 3-point shot.
2-3 Zone Play - "Iowa"This play can be run either to the right ("Iowa-2") or the left ("Iowa-3"). This simple play takes advantage of the zone over-shifting and we screen the backside of the zone. In the diagrams below, we run it to the right ("Iowa-2").
O1 passes to the opposite wing O3 to get the zone to shift. Notice that O5 starts on the side that we are running the play to and does not go to the ball-side short corner in this case (like we do in our normal zone offense where O5 runs the baseline). When the zone shifts, O5 and O4 back-screen (pin-screen) the zone. O4 screens the top defender while O5 screens the low defender. O3 skip passes to O2. O2 usually has a wide open 3-point shot here.
4-Out Zone Play - "Larry"Here is a really simple set play you can run vs the 2-3 zone. We are in a 4-out set with O3 at the high post. O1 passes to O2 in the corner (diagram A), which gets the low outside defender X4 to come out and guard O2 (who is a good shooter). O2 dribbles up to about the free-throw line extended, lifting X4 up, as O1 cuts inside and to the ball-side corner. O2 passes back to O1 in the corner (diagram B), and usually O1 will be wide open for the corner 3-point shot.
Sideline Inbounds Play, "Triangle"Set up in the triangle set as seen in Diagram 1. O2 screens for O3, and O3 cuts to the corner, and could get the pass for a 3-point shot from the corner. O5 down-screens for our shooter O2, and O2 cuts to the top for a possible pass and 3-point shot. Here is another good option if we don't have to have a 3-pointer. If the defenders switch the O5 down-screen, O5 might have a size mis-match. After screening, O5 seals the defender and looks for the inbounds pass and lay-up.
Baseline Inbounds Play "Box-2"This play is set up for a 3-pointer from the corner, but there are other options too. Have your best 3-point shooter (O2) make the inbounds pass and use the box setup seen in Diagram A.
O3 back-screens for O5 (diagram A) who tries to get inside position for the pass on the opposite low block. O4 fakes in, then cuts toward the corner and gets the in-bounds pass. O1 cuts out to the top ball-side area. O4 passes to O1 (diagram B), and then down-screens for O2.
O2 cuts hard around the screen to the ball-side corner, and gets the pass from O1 for the corner 3-point shot (Diagram C).
To run "Box-2" against the 2-3 zone, O4 down-screens the outside low zone defender.
Mark Few: Quick Hitting 3-Point Plays
with Mark Few, Gonzaga University Head Coach.
Copyright © 2001 - 2018, James A. Gels, all rights reserved.