Carve The Defense With ‘Slice’

This popular play requires several movements, screens, handoffs and passes to set up a passer outside the arc throwing a leading pass to a player cutting to the hoop.

Why use it

The constant movement in this play forces the defense to cover a lot of areas and eventually breaks down after multiple screens and passes.

Set up

All five players are located at the free-throw-line or higher. 1 is dribbling on the right side. 5 is at the ball-side elbow.

How to play

1 dribbles at 2 as 2 comes high to meet the ball. 1 hands off to 2. 3 relocates to the left corner as 4 elevates to the left wing. 2 passes across to 4 [diagram 1]. 4 passes to 3 in the corner. 5 screens for 2, who cuts to the right block. 5 then comes across to set a flare screen for 4. 4 moves to the right side of the perimeter. 3 passes to 5, who then passes across to 4 [diagram 2]. 4 dribbles at 1 and hands off to 1. 3 elevates from the left corner. 2 replaces 3 in the left corner. 1 dribbles high and passes across to 3. 5 moves to the right elbow and sets a screen for 4 to slice toward the hoop. 3 passes to 4 on the cut [diagram 3].


It’s not a fast-developing play, so teach patience to your players when running this set. Encourage them to make productive handoffs, which then lead to the person giving the ball to pick off a trailing defender. Be sure 5 is one of your toughest players as he or she is setting multiple screens, including the one to free 4.

    1. When 1 hands off the ball to 2, 1 buys 2 some space by getting in the way of 2’s defender

    2. 5 must be your toughest player as 5 sets the screen for 2, then the flare screen for 4 and eventually sets a slice screen coming back the other way for 4
    3. While this cut is for spacing purposes, 2 could be open on the backcut, so 4 needs to at least peek at 2 before passing to 3

    4. 3 comes hard to the ball to catch the pass, then has to allow the final action of the play to develop before leading 4 with a pass at the hoop
    5. 4 catches the pass and uses a step to score at the rim — taking a dribble slows down this advantage and may allow a defender to recover so avoid it

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