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Basketball Offensive Plays:
The Last Second Shot



You don't need many basketball offensive plays - I rarely have more than two offenses that I use on a regular basis - but I also have several plays for special situations. Situations that pop up a couple of times a game, maybe less than that, like inbounding the ball, the jump ball, and last second shots.


This play is a simple play to use when you have only a few seconds on the clock and are down by a couple of points. You are inbounding the ball at the far baseline, which means you need to pass it in, get it all the way upcourt, and get the shot off within a scant few seconds.


Basketball Offensive Plays: The Inbounds Pass

Players set up as in the diagram, with players in the following positions:

  • #3 should be your best passer, able to pass long with good power

  • #1 and #2 should be your best shooters, able to hit three pointers with decent consistency

  • #4 will likely be your small forward - someone good at taking the ball hard to the hoop

  • #5 will be your biggest player - so he can catch and pass the ball high above the defenders

When #3 yells "BREAK", #1, #2 and #5 begin to cut toward the ball; #1 and #2 execute a jab step and then sprint back to the three point line, while #5 keeps coming to the half-court line

The pass we want is to #5 just before he reaches the half-court line - #3 passes almost immediately after calling "BREAK", and passes high so that #5 runs into it and catches it with arms held high above him

#4 begins his cut to the hoop the moment #5 receives the ball


Basketball Offensive Plays - 1


Basketball Offensive Plays: Scoring Options

There are three passes #5 can make once he pivots to the hoop, with the following scoring options:

  • #1 gets the pass and takes a three point shot

  • #2 gets the pass and takes a three point shot

  • #4 gets the pass as he is cutting to the hoop and finishes the layup

If you are down by 2 or 3 points, then the first two options - the three pointers - are obviously your best options

Basketball Offensive Plays - 2


Everthing in this play needs to happen fast - first of all, you only have a few seconds on the clock, but second, your cutters are being chased. Passes need to be quick and ahead of the man so your player catches it and not the defense.

It's an easy basketball offensive play - it has to be, since you only have seconds to execute it and the pressure of a last second shot will make it hard enough.

Practice this last second play on a regular basis - not every practice, but maybe very second or third practice. It will only take 2 or 3 minutes of your practice time, and you'll likely only need to use it once or twice a year, but when that time comes, when you look up and see five seconds on the scoreboard and your team is 2 points shy of winning - it's nice to have a strategy to use.



View other basketball offensive plays here


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