Initial Passer Takes The 3-Pointer

Similar to Find The Forgotten Inbounder in which the defense lags off the initial passer, this set creates actions away from the ball to open space for a quick handoff and shot.

Some of the best, quick-hitting plays use the initial passer as the shooter.  The idea is simple: the point guard starts the actions with a pass, the point’s defender gets caught up in the other actions and loses track of her or his assignment. 

1 is dribbling at the top. 4 and 5 are at opposite elbows. 3 is on the right wing but closer to the baseline. 2 is positioned on the left wing out toward 1.  

3 takes a few steps toward the ball, then runs off a backscreen set by 5. 4 is establishing position at the left elbow [diagram 1].

As 3 cuts through the lane, 4 dives toward the hoop, which pulls defensive attention in this direction. 5 now steps toward the ball. 1 passes to 5 [diagram 2].

1 follows the pass. 5 pivots, keeps the defender on her or his backside, then hands off the ball to 1. 1 grabs the ball and shoots the open 3-pointer as the defenders scramble to recover [diagram 3].

If both defenders drop to cover 3 cutting backdoor, 5 also has the option to put the ball on the floor and attack with the dribble, or she or he can take the mid-range jumper. Generally, however, at least one defender sticks with 5. The key is for 5 to pivot away from that defender, as well as 1’s trailing defender.

    1. 5 works hard to establish position, which also draws the attention of 1’s defender and begins the process of slipping 1 behind the defense
    2. 3 catches the ball and immediately uses the dribble to attack the baseline — if 3’s defender is trailing, then 1’s defender must help, which leaves 1 alone

    3. 1 slips behind the defense and waits for the pass — you don’t want 1 drawing any attention
    4. 4 and 2 rotate toward the ball side to drag their defenders with them, so the weak side is completely unprotected

    5. 3 picks up the dribble and fires the pass across to 1 once the opportunity presents itself — 1 goes right up with the layup for the score

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