Three last-second quick hitters for the win
It’s inevitable that, at some point during the season, there comes a time when the clock is winding down and your team needs 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 happens to be our best scorer, but we have other players who have developed into quality shooters. Many time, they end up taking the winning shot.
We devote eight 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, giving everyone on our team a chance to get 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 off the ball 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, 2 quickly reverses the ball to 4, who after setting the screen has stepped back behind the arc for a 3-pointer.
1-4 low draw-and-kick
DIAGRAM 3: 1-4 low draw-and-kick (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 (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. They also 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 both faded behind the 3-point line for the open 3-pointer.