EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE

‘Elevator’ Creates Top 3

The ball handler initiates action with a pass, moves to the corner, comes off a screen into the lane and sprints up the middle toward the top off a pair of screens for an open shot.

WHY USE IT
The constant action, passing and screening in this play makes it almost impossible to defend provided you have a confident shooter who has the ability to catch and shoot in rhythm. This play generates an open top-of-the-key look. 

SET UP
2 starts with the ball on the left side of the floor. 1 is on the left wing. Place a big at the top and another at the weak-side elbow. A final guard is in the opposite corner.

HOW TO PLAY
2 passes to 1, then 2 relocates to the ball-side corner. 1 passes to 4 at the top [diagram 1].

After passing to 4, 1 moves lower and screens for 2. 2 curls around the screen into the middle of the lane. 1 now relocates to the left wing and receives a pass back from 4 [diagram 2].

After making the pass, 4 joins 5 in moving just below the free-throw line to set a double screen for 2. 2 runs through this “Elevator” look by splitting the screeners. 4 and 5 close the opening once 2 passes through the area to trap the defender. 1 passes to 2 for the open jump shot [diagram 3]. 

TECHNIQUE
The cut by 2 toward the hoop is important to draw defensive attention in that direction, so the double screen can trap the defender low rather than allowing him to remain closer to the perimeter.

    1. Quick initial passing keeps the defenders moving around and the focus off the potential shooter

    2. If 1’s defender cheats low as 2 cuts into the lane, there is a possibility of 1 having an open shot when receiving the wing pass
    3. 2 makes sure to get low into the set to drag his or her defender here, which sets up the double screen

    4. 4 and 5 pick off 2’s defender by closing the gap after 2 passes through it
    5. 2 runs hard through the double screen, catches the pass from the wing and shoots before any other defender closes out

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