Blog Archives

Late Game Situations – Flare Plays

One trend I have noticed over the last year(s) is many coaches, NBA especially, are moving towards flare screens to get the “go-to” guy moving away from the ball during late game situations. I think this is a great strategy as the majority of your defenses will be loaded to the ball on help side preventing the simple catch & shoot. However, I do not recommend putting in this strategy for your high school or youth teams and here is why:

  1. NBA and College players are bigger and more experienced and will go after and meet the ball. Most young players do not meet passes and thus will result in a turnover or deflection.
  2. In my short time in coaching, I have yet to experience young players who can consistently throw perfect skip/flare passes (especially out of bounds) while landing on time and on target.

Below is a sideline out of bounds play similar to one the Boston Celtics ran earlier in the season that incorporates the above discussion.



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.


LA Lakers Elbow 125 (Need 3)

Phil Jackson ran this play during his latter years with the LA Lakers. The initial action gives you 2 quick options with 1 popping back and 2 getting screened out. If the defense takes away both options 1 should look to turn and set a second screen for 3.


Boston Celtics Zipper Flare – Need Play

This play from the Boston Celtics is one you can run sideline out of bounds with a short clock in need of a 2 or 3 situation.


Orlando Magic End of Game Need 3

Stan Van Gundy is one of the best coaches on the planet at drawing up plays in “Need” situations. This action was one he drew up for the Orlando Magic to get a Need 3 from a sideline out of bounds look. This play gave the Magic three different looks for a 3-pointer.