Every basketball team should have a “set play” or “default play” as part of its basketball offense for back-up purposes. In so doing, when a team’s fast break attempt is stopped, for example, it would have a good offensive play to rely on.
A set play must have good floor balance, and a minimum number of plays and options; however, the number of plays and options should not be too simple and so few that they become predictable by the defense.
When options vary from one to four for each play, it becomes virtually impossible for the players to perfect this number of plays.
Good teams must have several series of patterns to operate efficiently. A series of four or five plays, with options, should be sufficient.
Screens should be included in a set play offense. Why? Screens would make it more difficult for the defense to prevent the offensive player from successfully making it to the offensive basket. Therefore, as part of the process of learning the different set attack patterns, players must be taught proper screening techniques.
To work properly, a set play must consist of a good inside attack and a good outside attack. Some teams operate the inside attack with a screening and driving game. The outside attack becomes successful with screening and good shooting over the screens.
When a team has players that can screen, drive, and shoot, it can keep a defense loose. You must be able to get inside the defense to get the good percentage shot. When you accomplish this attack, many defenses will jam the lanes to such an extent that your driving and screening game is stopped. You then must be able to draw this tight defense out with screens and good shots over the screens.
To outscore your opponent, your offensive moves must create openings for the good shot. Of course, follow-up is necessary to get the good second shot when the first one fails. Proper rebounding and defensive balance become part of this attack. Along with screening, cutting and driving techniques are needed to successfully execute a set play offense.
Such techniques as angle cuts, L cuts, scissor cuts and others may be used successfully. Angle cuts are set up by taking a direction with a sharp angle change up. These angles can vary in degree according to the players’ position on the floor. L cuts are about the same as angle cuts, with the exception that the L cut change up is a direct right angle change.
Scissor cuts consist of using a post man to run the opponent into a screen. A double scissor cut occurs when two players split the post to come off the screen set by the post man. Some coaches refer to these maneuvers as ruboffs, since the defensive player is purposely taken into the screen from his blind side.
A basketball team with a desire to win must obviously have a winning offensive scheme as part of its overall game plan. Incorporated into that offense should be set plays with characteristics as discussed above.
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