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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Wisconsin Badgers UCLA Stagger

The Wisconsin Badgers ran this quick hitter in their National Semi-Final game vs Kentucky in 2014. The key to this play is for 3 to be patient and curl off tight shoulder to shoulder.

To see EVERY play Florida ran in the 2014 Final Four you can do so in my eBook Championship Execution!

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Chicago Bulls UCLA Double

This play the Chicago Bulls ran over the weekend versus the 76ers is a very popular one run in the NBA by multiple teams.  Frame 1 is the action that the Bulls ran. However, if you have a shooting 4 or decide to UCLA screen with a big instead of a guard, Frame 2 (OPTION 2) is a great tweak to get another scoring option for one of your shooters.

Furthermore, with an explosive point guard like Rose, you can also choose to dribble 2 up and have 2 Hawk cut off the post to get your point guard using the side pick & roll instead.

UCLAdouble

Brooklyn Nets Elbow Double (Pick & Roll)

This set from the Brooklyn Nets’ former coach Avery Johnson is one of my favorite half-court sets that allows for multiple tweaks and options to add this as a staple of your offense.

ucladouble

Florida State Seminoles 43 Side Pick & Roll

This is an action Leonard Hamilton ran a few seasons ago at Florida State. I love this play because it involves multiple screening actions to occupy the defense and open up several scoring looks.

43sideFSU