Brad Stevens’ set to beat a shrinking clock

From Brad Stevens’s Boston Celtics playbook

Brad Stevens knows how to use a shot clock to his advantage – do the same with this play featuring many movements leading into a backdoor cut and layup.

Why use it

When a team has to defend for 25 to 35 seconds, inevitably a breakdown occurs – and that’s when a backdoor cut creates an easy scoring opportunity.

Set up

The player who eventually executes the backdoor cut starts in the ball-side corner. Most of the initial action takes place on the perimeter.

Brad Stevens' set to beat a shrinking clock

How to play

The point guard dribbles right and hands off. An immediate pass is made to the player popping from the free-throw line to the top. The passer cuts hard off a screen and clears to the baseline as the point guard settles into the corner. Ball reversal continues with a pass from the top to the left wing [1]. The baseline player continues to the opposite corner with the point guard coming to the wing off a screen. A pass is made to the point guard [2]. Pick-and-roll action at the top draws the defense. The player in the left corner makes a hard backdoor cut before the pick-and-roll fully develops. A pass is made and layup is converted [3].


Patience is critical. Your players need to run through their steps and progressions to force the defense to work hard for at least 20 seconds.

This set comes from my manual, Big Names, Big Plays, if you’d like more plays like this order the manual today.

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