Handoff sets up backside 3-pointer

From Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs playbook

All indications are this play is moving to the left after a handoff, dribble penetration and perimeter shooters on that side…but it simply sets up the forgotten point guard on the right.

Why use it

The Spurs run this play quite a bit as it creates enough movement and confusion that the defense has difficulty stopping the scoring possibilities.

Set up

The point guard is dribbling on the right side. 2 is in the ball-side corner with 4 in the opposite corner. 3 is on the left wing. 5 is stationed at the right elbow.

Handoff sets up backside 3-pointer

How to play

1 dribbles to the right, then enters the ball to 5 at the elbow. [1]. After making the pass, 1 moves low to screen for 2. 2 curls around 1’s screen and moves toward 5 as 5 readies to make a handoff [2]. 5 hands the ball to 2. 2 dribbles into the lane. 5 rolls to the hoop and 4 makes a basket cut from the corner. 3 curls behind 2 staying behind the 3-point line. 1 moves a bit higher. 2 stops and turns back toward the left side, fires a pass to 1 and 1 shoots on the catch [3].


The main option is 1 on the backside as typically the defenders focus on the left-side action. But, if the defense starts to cheat to the backside, 2 has the option to kick out a pass to 3 or even hit 4 on the cut for a layup. Remind 2 about the possibility of attacking the rim through the middle of the lane coming off the handoff if the defenders don’t recover to protect.