Last-Second Quick Hitters Come Through In The Clutch
By Bill Agronin
IT’S INEVITABLE THAT at some point during the season, there will come a time when the clock is winding down and your team will need a quick-hitting play to tie or win a closely contested game.
Over the years, we’ve experimented with a number of plays designed specifically for this type of scenario. Most of the time, the type of plays that you run are determined by your personnel as you always want to put the ball into the hands of your most reliable scorer.
We try to not only get the ball into our best offensive player’s hands, but also offer other options in case this player doesn’t have a good shot opportunity.
Our current team is blessed with a good point guard who also happens to be our best scorer, but we have other players who have developed into good shooters and many times end up taking the winning shot.
We devote 8 to 10 minutes, two to three times a week, solely to the execution of these plays. We try to use all the play’s options and substitute a number of players so everyone on our team is comfortable in the role that they’re asked to execute.
1-4 High “Buzzer Beater”
DIAGRAM 1: 1-4 High Quick Hitter (A). From the 1-4 high alignment, 1 dribbles to the right side of the court toward 2 and hands the ball off as they pass one another. 2 dribbles toward the middle of the court as 4 steps up to screen. Meanwhile, 3 and 5 break to the weak-side block to set up a double-screen.
DIAGRAM 2: 1-4 Quick Hitter (B). 2 tries to hit 1 coming off the double-screen set by 3 and 5 for a quick catch-and-shoot opportunity. If 1 isn’t open, then 2 quickly reverses the ball to 4, who, after setting the screen, has stepped back behind the 3-point line for a 3-pointer.
1-4 Low “Draw-And-Kick” Play
DIAGRAM 3: 1-4 Low “Draw-And-Kick” Play (A). From a 1-4 low set, 1 dribbles the ball into the half-court set, 4 and 5 break hard from their outside positions on each side and set screens for 2 and 3, respectively. 2 and 3 curl off the screens and pop behind the 3-point line on each side.
1 makes a dribble move, goes 1-on-1 down the lane and drives aggressively toward the basket.
DIAGRAM 4: 1-4 Low “Draw-And-Kick” Play (B). 1 looks to make a layup by driving down the lane. If the defenders collapse down and help, 1 looks to dish the ball to 4 or 5 on the blocks, or can kick the ball out to either 2 or 3 for the open 3-point shot.
1-4 Low “At The Horn”
DIAGRAM 5: 1-4 Low “At The Horn” (A). In this quick-hitter from a 1-4 low set, 1 dribbles to either side. As 1 chooses a side, the opposite low post player comes up and sets a screen at the top near the lane-line extended. 1 reverses his or her dribble, uses the screen and tries to curl and drive toward the basket.
DIAGRAM 6: 1-4 Low “At The Horn” (B). As 1 drives to the basket, 2 moves to an open spot, especially if his or her defender collapses to help stop 1’s dribble-drive.
1 looks to drive to the basket or pass it back out to 2 or 4 who have faded behind the 3-point line for the open 3-pointer.