Seal The Zone, Nail A 3

When a team drops into a 2-3 zone as you are inbounding from the sideline, simply seal the top defenders and create a wide-open 3-point opportunity.

In a back-and-forth battle with the Spain men’s team in the Olympics bronze-medal game, Australia ran this sideline out-of-bounds set late in the third quarter. Spain was set up in a 2-3 zone and Australia took advantage with a simple concept of occupying the top defenders, which allows for an open long-distance shot. 

3 is inbounding on the right side. 5 is on the ball-side elbow. The other three players are on the opposite side with 4 near the top, 2 on the wing and 1 deep in the corner.  

With 5 standing at the ball-side elbow and looking for the ball, the high ball-side defender is occupied. Now, 4 steps low and seals the weak-side top defender. 2 curls around the screen toward the top [diagram 1].

2 comes toward the ball and receives the inbound pass from 3. 5 keeps the defender on his or her back. 4 breaks toward the hoop [diagram 2].

2 catches and shoots the 3-pointer. 4 and 5 crash the boards as 3 comes into play [diagram 3].

This is a perfect set when a team lazily settles into a 2-3 zone when facing a sideline out-of-bounds scenario. There is no stopping the shooter when both top defenders are sealed at the free throw line or below.

    1. 4 must seal this weak-side defender as 2 curls around the screen to set up the 3-point shot
    2. 5 actively is looking for the ball at the elbow, which causes the ball-side top defender to give attention to this area and allows 2 to come free

    3. 2 comes toward the ball and gets into a perfect catch-and-shoot spot
    4. 5’s main job now is to keep the defender occupied and on his or her back, so 2 has no one closing out when the shot is taken

    5. 2 catches, squares and shoots the 3-pointer before any defender has an opportunity to get a hand in his or her face

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