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Basketball Offense - 3-2 Motion Offense Options

By Dr. James Gels, From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
"Helping coaches coach better..."
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First read "Motion Offense Principles" and 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense. You want flexibility and want to vary your offensive attack, while maintaining the 3-out,2-in as your basic set. Here are some simple options for the 3-2 set. These do not necessarily have to be called as set plays, but can be taught to the players as various options to use within the general motion offensive scheme.

To change to a 1-3-1 set, call "1-up" and the weak-side low post player moves to the high post. This is a good set to use against the 2-3 zone defense.

Motion offense options, the 1-3-1 set

To show a 1-4 stack set, call "2 up" and both posts move to the elbows. Now you can run the 1-4 stack offense and plays.

Motion offense options, the 1-4 set

If you have a good point guard, call "Pinball" to run this simple low stack play. O1 drives and tries to create his own shot, or dishes off to a teammate. O2 and O3 set picks for O4 and O5. O2 flares out for a three-point option. O3 moves out on top as prevent man on defense.

1-4 low stack play

To overload a zone (in this case the right side), call "3-cross". O3 cuts to the hoop, and then out to the opposite corner. Now the right side of the floor is overloaded. If O1 passes to O2, you'll have a ballside triangle with O3, O4 and O2.

Motion offense options, 3-cross Motion offense options, 3-corner

The defense is in a 1-3-1 zone and you want to go to a two-guard front. Call "3 corner" to have O3 slide down to the corner, and O1 and O2 move over into a two-guard set. Or call "2-Corner" with O2 in the corner. O1 and O3 are on top. Have O2 run the baseline back and forth, always on ball-side, like our "Runner" offense.

Change to a 4-out, 1-in set by calling something like "4 Out to John", where John becomes the inside post player. See "4-out, 1-in motion offense".

4-out motion offense Open post, 5-out motion offense

If you have good quick guards, use the open post (5-Out) offense. Call this "5", but not "5-Out". Once I called "5-out" and the ref charged me with a time-out, thinking I had yelled "time-out" instead of "5-Out". Also see "Open Post Double-Up Offense".

Wing to Low Post Motion.

Downscreen & Curl.

O3 down-screens for the low post O5, who curls around the screen for a pass from O1. After setting the screen, O3 can seal for the inside position and could get a pass from O1, or flare out to the short corner or wing for a pass for an outside shot.

Motion offense options, using down-screens Motion offense options, using back-screens


Post player O5 back-screens the wing defender X3. O3 cuts backdoor for the pass from O1. If not open, O3 cuts to the opposite corner/wing as O2 and O1 rotate up and over. After screening, O5 seals and rolls for a pass from O1. If the defense switches the back-screen, O5 slips the screen, cutting to the hoop for the quick pass from O1.

Post-Post Motion

O4 screens for O5 who cuts around the screen for the pass from O1 (option 1 below). If the defenders switch the screen, the X4 defender goes with O5, who moves out to the short corner. O4 has inside position after screening, seals the defender, and gets the pass from O1 (who dribbles a little to the right to set up a better passing angle).

Motion offense options, low post screens Motion offense options, low post screen and seal