originally published in WBCA Offensive Plays and Strategies, a Human Kinetics book
To create scoring opportunities for four players using 12 seconds or less of the clock.
To create high-percentage scoring opportunities for back-to-basket players, taking little time off the shot clock.
To allow guards to attack the basket, creating free-throw opportunities.
When to Use
As a quick hit or continuity offense.
Against either man-to-man or zone defenses
Your 1 must be a good decision-maker and scorer. Your 4 and 5 should be versatile enough to score facing the basket or with their backs to the basket. Your 2 and 3 should be able to hit the three.
As 1 advances across midcourt, 2 and 3 come off down screens by 4 and 5 and pop out to the tight wing areas (figure 1).
4 and 5 open to the middle, giving 1 immediate options in the paint. 1 dribbles to the right side as 2 drops to the corner (figure 2)
5 sets a midangle bail screen for 1. 1 looks to drive or shoot as 5 slips, rolls, or pops, ready for a pass if 1 is trapped. Meanwhile, as another option, 4 ducks into and out of the lane in the midpost area. 1 passes to 3, who is spotted up for a three-pointer (figure 3).
4 drop-seals in the paint as 1 follows behind to the strong-side baseline. 5 drops to the weak-side block as 2 pops above the three-point line (figure 4).
4 sets a midangle ball screen for 3, who looks to drive or shoot, and the play turns into a continuity offense (figure 5).
If opponents trap the ball screens, 1 may slip by 5 before the screen is set to get 5's defender out of the way before attacking. If 4 is guarded by a larger defender, she should set the first ball screen to bring the "big" out.
If 4's defender is cheating to the high side, anticipating the duck, 4 flashes to the strong-side low block as 5 moves up the lane to set the ball screen.
If the defenders on the guards begin anticipating the ball screen, 1 should pass to 2 or 3 and float to the weak side to allow for a baseline rip.
Points of Emphasis
This play is hard to stop if you have a dominant back-to-the-basket scorer and consistent three-point shooters, but timing and spacing are important. The 2 and 3 should start rim front, and their L-cuts off the down screens must be tight. This way, if the defense hedges the ball screen, the guard can attack on the dribble and decrease the passing lane to both the duck-in post and weak-side wing. The duck-in post must begin to set up the duck as the guard reaches the shoulder of the ball screen. After passing to 3, 1 sprints behind the duck-in post and gets through to the baseline to be an option if the defense cheats to guard the rolling post. Otherwise, she and her defender crowd the area and take away that option.