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Basketball Play - "Blazer"

By Dr. James Gels, From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
"Helping coaches coach better..."

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Here's an effective play that you can run against man-to-man defenses.

Note in Diagram A that we are clearing out the right side of the court. Our post players (O4 and O5) move to the high post and the top of the key. O2 and O3 clear out to the left corner and short corner. The point guard O1 initially dribbles to the left wing, and keeps the dribble going. O5 starts moving toward O1 on the wing and O1 starts a dribble toward O5. O1 stops, makes a hand-off to O5 while screening O5's defender. O5 gets into triple threat position facing the hoop.

Blazer play Blazer play

After handing off and screening for O5, O1 cuts around O4 to the hoop (Diagram B). O5 makes the over-the-top lob pass to O1 for the layup.

Notice that we have a tall post player O5 making the pass over a shorter defender (assuming a defensive switch), and a quick, point guard O1 beating the slower post defender on the cut.

It's amazing how such a simple play often gives you a layup. The hand-off and initial screen often confuses the defenders, whether to switch or not, and even when switching, it seems that the defender is often a step or two behind O1. You would think that O4's defender would switch and pick up O1, but oftentimes it just doesn't happen. If they do switch, pass to O4 who moves to the ball-side elbow.