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Easy Basketball Plays

Simple Movement, Big Opportunities



To refer to any offenses as easy basketball plays is a little misleading - it implies ineffectiveness. In reality, it is the simplest things that so often are the most effective. Any play that focuses on basketball fundamentals is a good basketball offense in my books, especially good if you are coaching youth basketball.


If you are coaching high school basketball, this would be a good play to run when you have players that are interchangeable - able to play several positions - and would definitely help teams that are smaller inside, but quicker. The play has simple movements, taking players quickly from low to high, from inside to outside. The more flexible your players can be on-court, the more opportunities this play will open up.


Easy Basketball Plays: Set up and First Option

Easy Basketball Play - 1

  • Players set up as in the first diagram, with a point guard, two wings and two forwards on the blocks

  • The play begins with a pass to a wing

  • This is immediately followed by two screens away from the ball - #1 screens for #2, and #5 screens for #4

  • Both players receiving screens flash across the court, toward the ball, looking to receive a pass and take a shot

  • Note: screeners must remember to roll out after setting the pick, since that may open them up into position for a pass and shot as well




Easy Basketball Plays: Reversing the Ball

  • If either of these passes are not available, the wing (#3) swings the ball back, passing to the new point guard #2

  • Immediately, two screens happen again - this time, both wings drop down and screen for the forwards, who flash to the wing / high post areas

  • Again, it is important for the wing to roll out after they set their screens as they might find themselves in good scoring positions

Easy Basketball Play - 2


Easy Basketball Plays: The Other Side of the Court

Easy Basketball Play - 3

  • The team now runs the play again - same cuts and passing / scoring opportunities on the opposite side of the court

  • Cuts need to be quick, moves must be aggressive, and players need to set solid picks and roll out afterward



Easy Basketball Plays: Repositioning

  • If nothing opens up, the team finishes back in its original position, although players are not where they started (e.g., #1 is at wing instead of point; #2 is low post instead of wing)

  • From here the team runs the play again

Easy Basketball Play - 4



Is it an "easy basketball play"? Sure it is - only a couple of picks and cuts, repeated over and over again.

Is it effective? Sure it is, given the right personnel and if it is run in the right way.


But to help make any play effective, it is important to realize a few things about choosing and running plays for your team:

  • Patience works - after a few passes, the defense will start to slack off - players need to wait for and act on the opportunity when it arises

  • Players need to move and pass with intensity every time. You always want to control the game tempo - whether you are on offense or defense, you want to be in control - moving the ball quickly, making sharp and accurate passes, will help you maintain that control

  • The play you choose must suit your players - this play will not work for a team with big, slow players who can't play outside the key, but would likely be very effective for teams with players that are smaller and more versatile


Other resources to help develop your basketball plays:

Better Basketball Coaching Pages & Resources
External Resources


Good luck developing a hard-hitting basketball play, and happy coaching!



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