Inbound Basketball Plays

Inbound basketball plays can create very good scoring opportunities because the opposing defense is usually not set. The defense is more concerned about preventing an inbound pass deep near the basket. The key to these types of plays is player alignment. If all your out of bounds plays have the same alignment, the defense has a hard time determining the type of play you're going to run...

Some inbound plays are designed to get the 2-guard an open look, while others are designed to safely get the ball in the point guard's hands. It all depends on your goal. In a last-minute situation where you're leading, you probably want to run a safe inbound play that assures the right free-throw shooter and/or ball handler gets the ball.

In a situation where you're down by 1 or 2 points, you might need a quick basketb and getting the ball to your best scorer near the mid-range area might be the best option. If you're down by 3 or more points, you need a plays designed to get you a good 3-point shot.

Its recommended to have atleast 3 or 4 solid inbound plays for a variety of situations, and you should execute these to perfection. If you have too many plays, your team will get confused, so pick a few effective ones and practice them until execution is flawless.

Here's a simple example of an out-of-bounds play:

Player 1 is at the free-throw line
Players 2 & 3 are positioned right below the hoop on opposite sides
Player 4 is in the center right above the free-throw line

Player 5, the inbounder, throws the ball into player 2, runs in himself to the top left corner of the key. Player 2 passes the ball back to Player 5 who takes the shot. The reason this play works well is because as soon as the ball is thrown into Player 2, the defense will scramble towards him/her. The inbounder can quickly runs in and takes the shot, because the defense will not be expecting him to shoot.

The key to this play is speed and deception. Player 2 has to act like the play is set up for him to shoot, while player 5 has to be very fast in getting to the right spot.

Here's another example of a basic inbounds play:

Players 1 & 2 stand on opposite corners of the free-throw line
Players 3 & 4 stand on either side of the basket, near players 1 & 2
Player 5 is the inbounder

Player 3 sets a screen for Player 1, who comes up and receives the inbound pass from player 5. Player 3 immediately cuts to the basket and Player 1 passes him/her the ball for an easy layup.

Both of the above offensive plays can be run on either side of the court. See a lot  more inbound basketball plays with pictures & descriptions.