EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE

‘Love’ These 3 Options Off A Line

When you have a big man with the ability to shoot from the perimeter, the floor stretches, your options increase and the chances the defense stops you decrease.

WHY USE IT
When forming a line of players at the free-throw line, defenders are forced to pick a side — high or low. If players stay low to protect the hoop, then the perimeter is open. If they cheat to the high side, you have space near the hoop to exploit. This play offers options/counter for both. It’s called “Love” after Kevin Love — a big man with a shooting touch.

SET UP
The point guard takes the ball out on the side while the other four players form a line at the free-throw line. Your post who shoots well (5) is located as second in line. Place your other guards behind him or her with the final player (4) just in front of 5.

HOW TO PLAY
4 and 2 pinch low to seal off 5’s defender. 3 curls high around the line and relocates to the ball-side corner to move some focus in that direction. 5 pops to the top and catches a pass from 1. 5 takes the shot in this first option [diagram 1].

If the defense cheats high, have 2 slip the screen and catch a lob pass at the rim from 1 [diagram 2].

A third option is to have 2 slip the screen but pop to the opposite wing if you still are in need of a 3-pointer [diagram 3].

TECHNIQUE
The key is for 4 and 2 to “close the door” on any defenders trying to sneak through to guard 5 at the top. As the defense adjusts, then the counters come into play. 

    1. The key to this play and the counter coming from it is to have 4 and 2 squeeze down and cut off any potential defenders attempting to close out the perimeter
    2. 5 is a skilled shooter so he or she catches and shoots off the inbound pass

    3. 3’s main reason for clearing to the corner is to pull defensive attention in this direction but if the opposition realizes this is a decoy and sags off, 3 may be open for a shot
    4. As the defense figures out the inbound pass is going to 5 for the shot, have 2 slip toward the hoop for a lob pass as no defender is stationed near the basket

    5. If you still need a 3-pointer and the defense has stifled 5 at the top, 2 slips and moves to the right wing for a cross-court skip pass

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