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Full Court Press Break:
Stack Option

An effective press break will not only allow you to inbound the ball against pressure, but it will start your offensive run down the court and put your opponent on the defensive.

Most full court presses that I have come across allow the ball to be inbounded. They direct the ball, closing off all inbound options that the defense doesn't want and forcing the inbounds pass to a specific player. But they allow the inbounds pass, and so the press (and the press break) doesn't really begin until the ball carrier starts to move the ball upcourt.

But sometimes the press decides to deny the inbounds pass, and that can cause a whole new set of problems for the offense. To do this, the defense generally plays man to man defense - each defensive player picks up a man and denies him the ball from the very beginning.

This variation of the full court press offense will help your team succeed against such a situation, and in fact, will set up scoring situations for your players.

Press Break: Stack Option

press break - stack 1

The team lines up as in the diagram above, with #2 (off guard) passing the ball inbounds, and then the small forward (#4), wing (#3), and center (#5) in a line (in the order given), tight to each other so that the defense can't squirm in between players. #1 - the point guard - sets up at the half.

  • #2 calls "Break" and the players in the stack cut at the same time, in different directions.
    • #4 cuts away from the ball, to the far sideline
    • #3 cuts ball side, to the near sideline
    • #5 cuts straight to the ball

    With #4 and #3 cutting to the sides, they effectively clear a lane for #5 to charge down - #5 will likely be the best inbound possibility. Be sure he realizes that he is receiving the inbounds pass underneath his own basket - this is not the place to bobble a pass and turn the ball over to the opponent!

    Press Break to Fast Break

    press break - stack 2

    With the ball in #5's hands, the press offense switches into a fast break. #1 feints a cut long (if the defense doesn't react, there is the possibility of a long pass to #1 and a quick layup), then quickly blasts back to receive the ball from #5 at about the three point line

    #1 now takes the ball strong up the court, with #3 and #4 filling the lanes on either side, and #2 and #5 trailing - a classic fast break.

    This transition from press break to fast break works in this situation because the press is essentially a man to man defense. Most presses are zone presses, with players responsible for certain areas of the court - which makes it difficult to fast break against.

    But a man to man defense like this? By breaking the inbounds denial, the offense will scatter the defense and have them running to find a player to guard - a great situation in which to run a fast break!

    Find more Press Breaks here

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    "Pressure can burst a pipe or pressure can make a diamond."
    - Robert Horry

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