Blog Archives

Creating an Offensive Play Call System (Part 1)

One question I am frequently asked, “How do I come up with the play calls that I use for my plays?”. Until now, I have never taken the time to explain why I name certain actions the way I do. This was until I watched Stan Van Gundy’s lecture at the 2013 Coaching U Live and I became inspired to break it all down for you. However, before I dive into the names of particular actions to signal play calls, let’s discuss many of the most commonly run schemes in basketball.

Flex Action

Flex is probably the most known and run offenses in all of basketball. Why? Because it is extremely effective if not guarded correctly. Furthermore, it is a repetitive offense that if you can lull the defense to sleep, will result in lay-ups. Flex actions are designated by running a backscreen/downscreen action. If you want to be creative you can move your wings higher and set traditional backscreens to give more space/time to get open at the rim.

flex

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Brooklyn Nets Elbow Elevator

The Brooklyn Nets ran this elbow action in their game versus the Miami Heat. As 3 (Joe Johnson) came up the lane for the 3-pointer, X4 sniffed out the action and helped to prevent the catch. This allowed 4 (Paul Pierce) to slip to the block for a post-up.

netselbowelv

Florida Gators Horns Elevator

Last night in their buzzer beating loss to the UCONN Huskies, the Florida Gators ran this elevator play to revive their offense in the 2nd half. This is a play that ESPN Analyst Seth Greenberg talked about during the broadcast, breaking down the elevator screen. I drew the 5-1 pick in grey because it does not have to be added but is a nice tweak.

In the event you need a 2 in this situation, a quick slip from 5 is also a nice option after setting the screen.

hornsElevator

Mississippi State Bulldogs Elevator Action

Rick Stansbury ran this elevator action during the 2008-09 season with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. This is a timing play, the passes from 3 to 2 must be times with elevator screen for 1.

Msu1

 

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North Carolina Tar Heels Elevator Double BLOB

This baseline out of bounds play from North Carolina was used a few years ago to get Tyler Zeller posted on the block. I love the stagger action on the weakside to minimize any help in the post.

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