Preparing for Late Game Situations in Basketball

Preparing for Late Game Situations in Basketball

The difference between having a good basketball season and having a great season often comes down to 5-7 games that are either won or lost by less than 3 points. Two years ago, we had a player named Zac Swansey that hit six game-winning shots for us at Tennessee Tech that season. That year we won 20 games. If he had missed those shots, we would have only won 14 games. That is a huge difference!

Some would say six game-winners in one year is pretty lucky. I would tend to agree, but I would also tell you we spent 15-20 minutes a day in practice on these scenarios, giving our players confidence to execute them during the game. This is the first of two articles I will share on late-game situations.

This basketball coaching article focuses on the offensive side, and the next will focus on the defensive side. Below are a few of my philosophies and some things to consider to increase chances of success for late-game heroics. I believe the keys to success in late-game situations comes down to daily repetition in practice, getting a good shot, and having some luck on your side.


Here are some things to consider in late-game offensive situations:

  1. Can you run the baseline?
  2. Who is your team’s best full-court passer?
  3. Keep a running Excel sheet of different late-game scenarios that come up during the season from games you play, games you watch, etc. This will give you a variety of different late-game situations to practice with your team daily.
  4. If you score with less than 10 seconds to play, I like to call a timeout to get our defense set. Sometimes players will get caught celebrating and not get back on defense, giving the opposing team a transition break. Calling a timeout allows the other team to draw up a set basketball play, but I still like that it allows our team defense to get set and ensure playing 5-on-5 rather than giving up a 3-on-2 numbered break.
  5. If coming out of a timeout for the last possession, have your team prepared to run a play versus man to man and for zone in case the opposing team changes defenses.
  6. If you have the ball for the last possession in a tie game, hold for the last shot. The worst thing that can happen is overtime. If your team shoots too soon, make or miss, the other team will have a chance to win the game.
  7. Your team needs a basketball play for 0-3 seconds, 4-8 seconds, and 9+ seconds for each of the following inbound positions, and each play should have different options depending on if you need a 2FG or 3FG:
    1. Full Court (can run baseline)
    2. Full Court (cannot run baseline)
    3. 3/4 Court Side Out
    4. Side-Out of Bounds
    5. Baseline Out of Bounds

 

Follow Us On Social

Latest Content

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Categories

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

One Response

  1. This is an outstanding article written by one of the really good basketball minds in the game day. Great stuff!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Related Posts

How to Coach Basketball

  If you want to learn how to coach basketball, then it’s important to remember that not everyone (and in fact, no one) starts as

Individual Basketball Workout Keys

Individual Basketball Workout Keys

This basketball coaching article was written by Dale Layer.   Professional Basketball Instruction The value of individual work-outs to isolate and improve individual basketball-related skills