Man to Man Basketball Plays for Coaches

Man to Man Basketball Plays

There are thousands of man-to-man basketball plays out there, and it is sometimes challenging to separate the good plays from the not-so-good ones. Sometimes even the plays themselves are good, but they are just not for the level you are coaching at. Our goal is to provide you with a list of good basketball plays for all levels so that way you can decide what plays work best for your team and your style of offense.

 

Choosing the Right Man to Man Basketball Plays

Deciding on the right man-to-man basketball plays for your team depends heavily on your team’s playing style and player personnel. You don’t want plays designed to feed the ball inside every time if you are a guard-oriented team. The basketball plays you want to choose are plays that will promote your team’s strengths and give your team the best chance to get easy baskets. Depending on your player personnel, you may have to adjust your plays every year to better fit your players.

Also, when picking the plays that your team is going to use, make sure that you have certain sets that are designed to get your best players the basketball in spots where they are comfortable and will be able to take a high percentage shot. This will help your best players get going offensively and are also great for your team offense.

Provide your players with a mix of offensive sets and motion offenses. There are times when you will need to run motion offense and times that call for a set play. You must have both options in your playbook.

 

Man-to-Man Basketball Plays Teaching Points

The goal of any offensive basketball play is to create scoring opportunities for your team. Man-to-man plays, also known as set plays, are designed to achieve this by setting up specific player movements and actions to create open shots or driving lanes. As a coach, it is important to teach your players the key teaching points of each play so they can execute them effectively during games.

There are a few general teaching points that apply to most man-to-man offensive plays:

  • Communication: Players should communicate with each other throughout the play, using verbal and nonverbal cues to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Timing: Timing is crucial in executing any play. Make sure your players understand when they need to make their cuts and movements to maximize the effectiveness of the play.
  • Spacing: Proper spacing on the court is essential to creating open passing lanes and driving opportunities. Emphasize the importance of maintaining good spacing throughout the play.
  • Movement without the ball: Man-to-man plays often rely on players moving without the ball to create scoring opportunities. Teach your players how to make effective cuts and movements off screens to get open for shots.
  • Reading the defense: As players become more experienced, they should be able to read and react to the defense in order to make the most out of each play. Encourage your players to constantly assess the defensive positioning and adjust their movements accordingly.

In addition to these general teaching points, there are specific teaching points for each type of man-to-man play. Here are a few examples:

 

Pick and Roll

  • Setting screens: Teach your players how to set effective screens, including proper positioning and timing.
  • Ball handling: The ball handler needs to know when and how to use the screen to create scoring opportunities for themselves or their teammates.
  • Picking and popping: In addition to rolling to the basket, players should also be able to pop out for a jump shot after setting a screen.

Motion Offense

  • Cutting and screening: Players need to know how to cut and set screens effectively in order to create open shots or driving lanes.
  • Maintaining spacing: With constant movement in motion offense, it is important for players to maintain good spacing on the court.
  • Reading and reacting: As players become more familiar with the motion offense, they should be able to read the defense and react accordingly to create scoring opportunities.

Isolation

  • One-on-one moves: Teach your players different one-on-one moves such as crossovers, jab steps, and spins to help them beat their defender in isolation situations.
  • Driving and finishing: In isolation plays, it is important for players to know how to drive to the basket and finish strong at the rim.
  • Kick-outs: When defenders collapse on the ball handler, teach your players how to make quick kick-out passes to open teammates for shots.

 

By teaching your players these key points and helping them understand the purpose of each play, they will be better prepared to execute them successfully during games. Remember to also encourage creativity and adaptability within the plays, as each game situation may require slight adjustments.

As your players become more comfortable with these plays, they will be able to execute them with confidence and efficiency, ultimately leading to more scoring opportunities for your team. So keep practicing and refining these man-to-man plays until they become second nature for your team!

 

 

Must-Use Man-to-Man Basketball Plays

These man to man basketball plays are a game changer when it comes to improving your team’s offense. By using these basketball plays, you can set your team up to be successful and on the offensive end of the floor.

 

Play #1: Loyola: Pin Down Post Seal Basketball Play (12-13)

 

The goal of this basketball play is to get a deep catch for the post player, and the way that this is going to happen is to have the post player first set a good down screen. After they set the down screen the defense is going to relax because they think they have successfully defended the pin down action. However, the post player is going to duck in hard and try to get as deep of a catch as they can. From here it must either be a foul or finish for the post player.

A big part of this basketball play is timing because if the post player ducks in too early then the defense will be able to recover before the ball is entered. The post player needs to be patient and duck in right before they get the ball.

 

 

Play Name: Loyola: Pin Down Post Seal Basketball Play (12-13)

Play Goal: Get a deep catch and a finish for the post player.

Play Tips: The post player needs to set a good down screen and then be patient before ducking in. As soon as the ball is in the right position though, the post player needs to duck in hard and try to get as deep of a catch as they can.

 

 

Play #2: Wisconsin Green Bay: BLOB Back Screen Down Screen Basketball Play (12-13)

 

This is a simple screen the screener baseline out of bounds basketball play, but if done the right way it can be very effective. If the shooter sets a really good back screen then his/her defender must decide whether they are going to help on back screen or stay with the shooter coming off the down screen. This basketball play, working the correct way, is all dependent on the offense setting good screens for each other. After the shooter comes off the down screen the player that set that screen needs to open up to the ball as well because they could get the ball if their man overextends out onto the shooter. It is all about reading the defense and taking what is open.

 

 

Play Name: Wisconsin Green Bay: BLOB Back Screen Down Screen Basketball Play (12-13)

Play Goal: Get a layup off the back screen, shot for the shooter coming off the pin down, or a layup for the man opening up after the pin down screen.

Play Tips: This play only works if the players are willing to screen for each other. The better the back screen is the more open the shooter will be off of the down screen.

 

 

Play #3: Utah Jazz: SLOB Double Screen Slice Basketball Play (07-08)

 

This is a great sideline out of bounds basketball play to get a quick quality shot at the basket. It is important that you have quick hitter out of bounds plays for end of game situations, or if the shot or game clock is running down. The inbound passer is going to pass the ball in and then immediately come off the double diagonal screen and get a post catch right on the block. Have the player with the best post mismatch toss the basketball in so that they can get it back in the post.

 

 

Play Name: Utah Jazz: SLOB Double Screen Slice Basketball Play (07-08)

Play Goal: Set a back screen for the inbound passer and get him a post catch on the block.

Play Tips: Have your best guard post up mismatch toss the ball in and then receive the post up. Keep spaced and be ready to shoot the basketball if your man helps down on the post up.

 

 

Play #4: Houston Rockets: Post Entry Interchange Screen Basketball Play (10-11)

 

These types of basketball plays are pretty simple, but if executed the right way it can be very effective, especially if you need a quick basket. Anytime the basketball goes inside out for a shot it is usually good offense. If the shot isn’t there on the interchange the post player can just go to work on the block or look opposite. It is key that the other players not involved in the direct action space the floor and is ready to shoot the basketball if their man over helps and the ball is kicked to them.

 

 

Play Name: Houston Rockets: Post Entry Interchange Screen Basketball Play (10-11)

Play Goal: Feed the post and then have the player that made the pass go screen the shooter at the top of the key so that they can get an open shot on the wing.

Play Tips: If the big man passes the basketball out to the shooter and the shot isn’t there you can just re-post the big man and then play out of it. The screener needs to do a good job of finding the shooters man and hitting him/her with a good legal screen.

 

 

Play #5: Houston Rockets: High Post Give and Go Backdoor Basketball Play (10-11)

 

This high post entry backdoor basketball play is all about spacing and selling the handoff action. It is out of a two-man game, so that means that the two players have a whole side of the floor to work with. The weak side players need to be ready to cut or do something with the basketball if it is kicked out to them if their man over helps.

The cutter must sell that he/she is coming off for a handoff and then sharply cut backdoor for the layup. If the defender is guarding the backdoor then the cutter can come off for the handoff and then play out of it. The screener needs to make sure that if they do hand the ball of that they screen the defender but then also open up or role to the basket afterward. Basketball plays like this are all about reading the defense, and then taking advantage of what they are giving up.

 

 

Play Name: Houston Rockets: High Post Give and Go Backdoor Basketball Play (10-11)

Play Goal: Pass the ball to the high post and read the defender. If the defender is taking away the handoff then cut backdoor.

Play Tips: Make sure that the other 3 players are spacing the floor. The big man needs to lead the cutter on the backdoor pass. If the defender is taking away the backdoor cut then just use the handoff and play a two-man game out of it, don’t be a robot.

 

 

 

Play #6: Pitt Panthers: Back Screen Double Screens Basketball Play (11-12)

 

It is usually hard for a defense to guard one good double screen action, but having to guard two in the same play makes it that much harder to defend. This basketball play is going to make the other teams big men really have to work and help on the stagger screen action. Most big men will struggle to get out and show on the second double screen, and this will allow for a shot or a chance to attack the basket.

 

 

Play Name: Pitt Panthers: Back Screen Double Screens Basketball Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Get a shot or a curl for your shooter coming off of the second double screen action.

Play Tips: Set good screens for the shooter. The shooter must set his defender up and read how the defender is guarding the stagger. If the defender chases then most likely the shooter will curl the last screen.

 

 

Play #7: San Antonio Spurs: SLOB Fake Handoff Side Ball Screen Basketball Play

 

A good sideline out of bounds basketball play looks to score right off of the inbound pass or gets directly into the offense once the ball is passed in. This play is all about making the right reads. If the handoff is there give it to him, if not keep playing and use the ball screen. The offense must keep good spacing and be ready to shoot the basketball if their man over helps on the ball screen action.

 

 

Play Name: San Antonio Spurs: SLOB Fake Handoff Side Ball Screen Basketball Play

Play Goal: Get the ball in and make a play from the handoff or ball screen action.

Play Tips: Read the defense and play out of each action. Keep good spacing and look to help a teammate get a good shot.

 

 

 

Play #8: Gadsden State: BLOB Diagonal Screen Flare Screen Basketball Play (11-12)

 

This basketball out of bounds play is going to be run out of the box set. That means that you are going to have a player on each block and each elbow, making the shape of a box. This is one of the more traditional baseline out of bounds formations, and there can be a lot of different sets run out of it. To make this basketball play work correctly you have to first set a good diagonal screen. This will put the defense in a difficult decision because the defense either has to help on that screen and give up a shot on the flare screen or give up a layup.

 

 

Play Name: Gadsden State: BLOB Diagonal Screen Flare Screen Basketball Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Set a good diagonal screen and then come off the flare screen for a shot.

Play Tips: The player passing the ball in should look for the player coming off the diagonal screen, then the shooter off the flare screen, and then the big man opening up after he sets the flare screen. Must set good screens for this play to work.

 

 

Play #9: Wallace State: Double Screen Handoff Basketball Play (11-12)

 

A double screen into a handoff action acts pretty much like a triple screen and is very hard for the cutter’s defender to keep up though. If you run this basketball play with the right timing and set good screens, then it is a really effective play. The player coming off the handoff can either turn the corner and drive the ball or look to shoot the ball depending on how his defender reads the screen. Running a successful play almost always comes down to the details; setting good screens, hard cuts, etc. so it is important that you as the basketball coach make sure that you stress these details to your players, and make sure that they are doing them.

 

 

Play Name: Wallace State: Double Screen Handoff Basketball Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Get a shot or a driving angle for the man coming off the double screen and handoff action.

Play Tips: Screeners need to find the cutters man and hit him/her with a good screen. The shooter needs to determine whether he/she is going to shoot the ball off the handoff or turn the corner for a drive.

 

 

 

Play #10: Utah Jazz: High Post Entry, Fake Handoff, Double Screen Basketball Play (07-08)

 

The reason for the fake handoff action is to get the weak side defenders to focus on the ball, and then not be able to extend and help out on the double screen. So really focus on selling the fake handoff and then set good screens for the shooter coming off for the shot. This is a great basketball play to run for a shooter that is having trouble getting his shot off.

 

 

Play Name: Utah Jazz: High Post Entry, Fake Handoff, Double Screen Basketball Play (07-08)

Play Goal: Sell the fake handoff and then hit the shooter coming off the double screen.

Play Tips: Must sell the fake handoff action to get the defense to focus on the ball instead of extending and helping on the double screen. Don’t make the shooter wait on the pass, pass him the ball as soon as he comes off the screens.

 

 

 

Play #11: Utah Jazz: Transition Ball Screen Basketball Play (07-08)

 

In transition, basketball plays don’t have to be as complex as in the half court because the defense usually is not set all the way. For this play, you are just going to use a simple ball screen to get a shot for your ball handler, and since the defense is not set, there is no help on the screen. This play only works if everyone is running the floor on offense to keep their defender honest.

 

 

Play Name: Utah Jazz: Transition Ball Screen Basketball Play (07-08)

Play Goal: Get out in transition and use the ball screen to create a quick scoring opportunity.

Play Tips: All five players must sprint the floor in transition. Set a good legal screen away from the help. If the big man shows out on the ball screen then the big man should be open.

 

 

 

Play #12: Pitt Panthers: Ball Screen Slip, Ball Screen Roll/Replace Basketball Play (11-12)

 

This is a great basketball play because it involves multiple players in the actions, and if the timing is right it will be very hard for the defense to guard. The first ball screen man is going to slip making the help defense have to rotate. Now for the second ball screen, the help is out of place and the offense can just play out of it.

Anytime you can get the help defense out of sort for one of your basketball plays you are going to usually end up with a pretty good shot. However, you have to be patient and set up some kind of diversion action before getting into your primary action.

 

 

Play Name: Pitt Panthers: Ball Screen Slip, Ball Screen Roll/Replace Basketball Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Make the defense rotate on the slip and then make them pay on the second ball screen.

Play Tips: Sell the slip action and have the second big man sprint to screen. To make this play work the timing has to be right. Read the defense out of the second ball screen and just play out of it. Your looks are a shot for yourself, roll man, replace man, or weak side wings if their defenders’ ball watch.

 

 

 

Play #13: Chicago Bulls: Double Back Screen/Down Screen Basketball Play

 

This Chicago Bulls basketball play is designed to get player movement and the basketball moving. Focus on setting good screens and looking at all the different options for the play. What you are looking for is the layup off the final double back screen, or if the last screener’s man helps on the screen he/she will be open coming off of the down screen. The only way basketball plays like this work though, is if the players are willing to set good legal screens for each other.

 

 

Play Name: Chicago Bulls: Double Back Screen/Down Screen Basketball Play

Play Goal: To get a shot off of the back screen or down screen action.

Play Tips: Meet every pass, Don’t telegraph the play, and set good screens. Make sure that your timing is right and there is good spacing. The better the back screen the more open the down screen will be.

 

 

Play #14: Georgia Southern: 1-4 High, High Post Catch, Hand Off Counter Basketball Play

 

A bad defender will almost always relax once his man gives up the ball. This basketball play is designed to take advantage of this by having the PG receive a handoff from the high post. If the handoff is not there, then the point guard simply cuts through and you are in your offense. Don’t be a robot and be ready to play out of the handoff.

 

 

Play Name: Georgia Southern: 1-4 High, High Post Catch, Hand Off Counter Basketball Play

Play Goal: Make the PG’s defender pay for relaxing once the ball is given up. Look for the handoff for a quick bucket or get right into the offense if the first handoff isn’t there.

Play Tips: Point guard must take his man away from the handoff and the cut hard to get the handoff. If nothing is there just play out of the offense.

 

 

 

Play #15: Wake Forrest: Pin Down, Flare Screen, Ball Screen Basketball Play (11-12)

Anytime you can get the other teams big man in multiple consecutive screening actions, you are usually going to get some good offense. One you are bringing the other teams shot blocker our away from the basket, and two you are really making him move his feet and communicate, this is not easy for most big men. This basketball play is going to try and do this, it will really make the defensive big man have to work.

 

 

Play Name: Wake Forrest: Pin Down, Flare Screen, Ball Screen Basketball Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Make the other teams big man have to guard a flare screen and then a ball screen back to back.

Play Tips: Set good screens and sell the flare screen. Be aggressive off of the ball screen and make a play for yourself or one of your teammates.

 

 

 

Play #16: Providence Friars: Handoff, Flare Screen Basketball Play (11-12)

 

Depending on the pace of the game quick hitter plays can really build momentum and crush the other team’s morale. This is a simple basketball play, but if run the right way can be very effective. It is important to set a good ball screen and make the defense have to help on the ball screen, that will leave the flare man open. It is important that the players using the screens first set their defender up before using the screen. This will make sure that the defender can’t cheat the screen. Executing a play the correct way and having success with it is all about the details.

 

 

Play Name: Providence Friars: Handoff, Flare Screen Basketball Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Get a quick shot off of the flare screen.

Play Tips: MUST sell the ball screen and get the defense to help on the ball screen. Set a good flare screen and make sure that the pass is a shooting pass.

 

 

 

Play #17: Providence Friars: Single/Double Twirl Action Basketball Play (11-12)

 

By making the defense guard the first cutter, you open up the opportunity to get the second cutter the ball without there being help defense to stop them. The only way that this basketball play works though, is if the big man sets two great screens in a row and if the first cutter sells his cut and makes the defense shift. For basketball plays like this, all five players need to be involved and doing their job. Whether it is setting a screen, cutting hard, or spacing the floor, everyone needs to do their job.

 

 

Play Name: Providence Friars: Single/Double Twirl Action Basketball Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Make the defense shift and help on the first cutter and then hit the second cutter on the curl.

Play Tips: Set good screens and cut hard.

 

 

 

Play #18: Villanova Wildcats: Single Double Basketball Play (11-12)

 

This basketball play is all about setting good screens and then letting your shooter read his defender. If you have a really good scorer you need to be able to get them touches where they can get a quality shot. Floppy set plays are a great way to do that, especially for shooters. Create opportunities where your best player can get a good shot. Before you run a play like this though, you need to teach your shooter how to read their defender so that they can make the correct cut for the shot.

 

 

Play Name: Villanova Wildcats: Single Double Basketball Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Set good screens and let the cutter read the defense and try to get an open catch and shoot shot.

Play Tips: Player setting the screen needs to open back up after they set the screen because they could be open if their man over helps on the screen. Cutter needs to set his man up and PG needs to pass the ball on time to the cutter.

 

 

 

Play #19: Pitt Panthers: BLOB Elbow Double Stack, Double Screen Basketball Play

 

Don’t just try to get the basketball in when you are inbounding the ball (unless an end of game situation), look to score out of your baseline out of bounds basketball plays. You should either be scoring on the pass in or getting right into your offense. Take advantage of your out of bounds plays and use them to run a set offense. Every game you should be looking to get between 6-8 points off of set out of bounds plays. This could be the difference between winning or losing a close game.

 

 

Play Name: Pitt Panthers: BLOB Elbow Double Stack, Double Screen Basketball Play

Play Goal: Get a shot for a shooter off of the first or second cut.

Play Tips: Set a good solid screen, cutter needs to set his man up, and in bounder needs to throw a good pass to the shooter.

 

 

 

Play #20: Villanova Wildcats: High Ball Screen, Side Ball Screen, Single/Double Screen Play (11-12)

 

A ball screen immediately followed by another ball screen can be a good basketball play because the defense is still recovering from the first ball screen action. Having multiple actions in a row as well as weakside action usually results in a good shot for your team. This play is all about pace, because the quicker you run it the more the defense will be trailing the play.

 

 

Play Name: Villanova Wildcats: High Ball Screen, Side Ball Screen, Single/Double Screen Play (11-12)

Play Goal: Look to score off of the second ball screen or hit the man coming off of the single/double screen.

Play Tips: Set a good ball screen and be aggressive off of the first screen so that the big man’s defender has to help on the screen. Wing coming off the single/double screen needs to set his man up and look to shoot as he comes off the screen.

 

 

Why Man-to-Man Basketball Plays are Important

Man-to-man plays are crucial to have in your team’s offensive arsenal for a few reasons:

  • Structure and organization: Man-to-man plays provide structure and organization for the offense, making it easier for players to understand their roles and execute accordingly.
  • Counter defensive strategies: In case of a tough opponent or an unexpected defensive strategy, having set plays can help counter and provide an alternative to the usual offensive strategy.
  • Create open opportunities: Man-to-man plays are designed to create scoring opportunities for your team. By executing them effectively, your team will have a better chance of putting points on the board.
  • Player development: Learning and executing man-to-man plays can help improve individual skills such as ball handling, passing, cutting, and screening. This can ultimately lead to overall player development and a more well-rounded team.

Overall, man-to-man plays are an important aspect of any offensive strategy in basketball. As a coach, it is your responsibility to teach your players the key points and help them understand how these plays can benefit the team. With practice and dedication, implementing these plays into your team’s game plan will lead to a more organized and efficient offense.

So don’t hesitate to incorporate man-to-man plays into your coaching strategy and watch your team’s offensive game improve. Keep in mind that these are not the only types of plays available, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for your team! Good luck on the court!

 

 

Man-to-Man Basketball Play Tips

  • Start with simple plays and gradually build up to more complex ones as your players become familiar and comfortable with the concepts.
  • Encourage constant communication on the court, not only during man-to-man plays but also throughout the entire game.
  • Use game film to help your players understand their roles and identify areas for improvement in executing the plays.
  • Practice these plays at game speed to simulate real game situations.
  • Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and tweak the plays based on your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Emphasize the importance of teamwork in executing man-to-man plays, as it requires all players to work together effectively. Communication, trust, and understanding of each other’s roles are key components for success in these plays.

Finally, always remind your players that the ultimate goal is to score points and win games. Encourage them to be aggressive and confident in executing these plays, but also to remain adaptable and make smart decisions on the court. With hard work, dedication, and effective coaching, your team will be able to master man-to-man plays and become a formidable offensive force on the court.

 

 

Man-to-Man Basketball Plays Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Can man-to-man plays be used against zone defense?

Yes, man-to-man plays can still be effective against a zone defense. In fact, it can create confusion for the defense and provide open opportunities for your team offensively.

 

How often should we run man-to-man plays during a game?

This will depend on the team’s overall strategy and the opponent’s defensive tendencies. It is important to have a balance between man-to-man plays and other offensive strategies, such as motion offense or isolation plays.

 

What if my players struggle with executing man-to-man plays?

Patience and practice are key in mastering any type of play. If your players are struggling, break down the play into smaller parts and focus on improving each individual aspect. Also, encourage your players to ask questions and communicate with each other to improve their understanding of the plays.

 

Can man-to-man plays be used in youth basketball?

Yes, man-to-man plays can be taught and utilized in youth basketball at an appropriate level. It is important to keep the plays simple and focus on teaching the fundamentals to ensure the players understand their roles and responsibilities. As they progress, more complex plays can be introduced. Overall, man-to-man plays can help develop important skills for young players such as communication, teamwork, and basketball IQ.

 

Are there any specific drills to practice man-to-man plays?

There are many different types of drills that can be used to practice and improve man-to-man plays. Some examples include 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 scrimmage drills, shell defense drills, and fast break drills with man-to-man defensive principles. It is important to vary the types of drills used to keep the players engaged and challenged.

Remember to have fun while teaching and practicing man-to-man plays! With dedication and hard work, your team will be able to successfully execute these plays and see improvements in their offensive game.

 

 

Man-to-Man Basketball Plays Conclusion

Man-to-man plays are an essential part of any basketball team’s offensive strategy. They provide structure, create scoring opportunities, and help with player development. As a coach, it is important to teach your players the fundamentals and encourage constant communication and teamwork on the court.

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and experiment with different plays to find what works best for your team. With practice and dedication, your team will become a well-oiled machine on the court with the ability to effectively run man-to-man plays. Good luck!

In conclusion, man-to-man plays are an important tool in every basketball coach’s playbook. They can benefit players individually and improve team performance overall. By incorporating these tips, addressing common FAQs, and emphasizing teamwork and communication, you can successfully implement man-to-man plays into your team’s game plan.

Remember to have patience and practice regularly to see the best results on the court. Keep learning, adapting, and experimenting to find what works best for your team. And most importantly, have fun while teaching and playing man-to-man basketball! So go out there and dominate the court with your newly refined offensive strategy.

 

 

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