Celtics’ late-game 3-pointer

From Brad Stevens’ Boston Celtics’ playbook

The Celtics used this play to create a late-game 3-pointer on a side out-of-bounds set by throwing over the top to draw attention, then toss back to the perimeter in second-level action.

Why use it

A low screen sent the center to the weak side for a long pass. This normally would be the first option but the Celtics ran a perimeter screen to bring a shooter toward the pass and set up an open 3-pointer late in a recent game vs. Minnesota.

Set up

Your point guard has the ball on the side. 4 starts on the opposite wing. 2, 5 and 3 align on the ball side near the baseline.

Celtics' late-game 3-pointer

How to play

2 breaks from the short corner to the perimeter on the ball side. 3 faces the ball and sets a screen. 5 begins running off 3’s screen and away from the ball [1]. 3 holds the screen to free 5. 5 moves toward the short corner on the opposite side. 4 runs toward the top of the set and screens for 2. 2 runs off 4’s left shoulder to the right-side wing. 1 throws a pass over the top to 5 [2]. 5 catches the pass and kicks out a pass to 2 who is curling toward the ball and into a shot. 1, 3 and 5 crash the boards [3].


A lot of attention is focused on 5 because that’s where the initial pass is going. But, with 9.5 seconds on the clock, the Celtics determined using an extra second or two was worth creating this open 3-pointer rather than having 5 shoot on the catch.

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