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Basketball Set Plays:
Inbounding Along the Baseline

Basketball set plays along the baseline almost always provide opportunities to score. You're close to the basket, so the defense will be nervous. If they go to a zone and try to pack the key, to shut out any cuts through the paint, that usually leads to easy shot opportunities from mid range. If they go man to man, then you have the opportunity to set up a play like this and try to get someone open inside and put up an easy two on the scoreboard.

Note that there are several screens in this play - it may be a good idea to revisit The Fundamentals of Setting Good Screens with your players before introducing this basketball inbound play.

How this Basketball Set Play Works

  • Players set up as indicated in the diagram - point guard (#1), shooting guard (#2), forward (#3), and two post men (#4 and #5).

  • The forward inbounding the ball (#4) needs to be a decent passer, tall enough to see over the defense, and a good inside player since he will be stepping into the key immediately after passing the ball in, and will need to be able to rebound and to execute some good Post Moves

  • #4 calls Break! and a couple of movements happen simultaneously:

    • #5 sets a back screen for #3; #3 cuts hard off the screen to the mid-range shot area

    • #1 cuts toward the half-court corner, and then quickly doubles back in to the three point line
Basketball set play - BIP1

Scoring Option #1 and #2:

  • The first scoring opportunity of this basketball set play goes to #3, as he comes off the screen and sets up for a mid-range jumper just outside the key.

  • #5 gets the second scoring option. If the back screen is executed well, there is a good chance that the man guarding #5 will try to pick up #3 on the switch, which means #5 can roll out to the basket and get a quick layup
Basketball Set Play - BIP2

Another Screening Option

  • If you end up running this basketball set play a few times throughout the game - as you might - mix it up a bit by having the pick from #5 made on the other side, giving #3 the cut through the key to the hoop

  • The first scoring opportunity here goes to #3 as he flashes through the key to the hoop for the layup
Basketball Set Play - BIP3

  • If the pass to #3 can't be made, it will usually be because the man guarding #5 has stepped out to pick him up (since #5 did such a great job setting the pick for #3 and tying up his defensive player)

  • When this happens, #5 should pop out rolling off the pick, and be set to take a mid range jumper or take it in to the hoop if the lane is there
Basketball Set Play - BIP4

Other Scoring Options:

  • If both inside players are guarded too closely for a pass to get in, there are two more scoring options:

    • Pass to #2 along the baseline for a baseline jumper

    • Pass to #1 out at the three point line for a jumper or to set up an offensive play

  • With any of these inbounding options, it is very important that the man passing the ball in (#4) steps immediately into play once he passes the ball. Standing outside the court he can do nothing, but often once the pass is made, his defensive man forgets about him and he can step into good scoring and rebounding positions.
Basketball Set Play - BIP5

This is a simple basketball set play that works as long as there are good picks set and people move quickly and pass fast. Remind your players to consider any inbounds situation an opportunity to score, and to move aggressively toward the basket.

View more Basketball Set Plays for Special Situations here

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