Offensive Basketball Plays for a Center

Offensive basketball plays help define your strategy to score. You'll be choosing plays that are best suited for your players, and more importantly, best suited for the way they interact with each other, or your team's chemistry. For example, you may have a bunch of guards that run and shoot well, so your overall offensive strategy would revolve around that. Alternatively, and preferably, you have a good center and power forward that anchors your entire team, and in this case you need offensive basketball plays for a center or big man.

Offensive basketball plays for centers are also known as big man plays. The ideal lineup includes a power forward, a small forward, a center, a shooting guard, and a point guard. For now, lets focus on the big men... The power forward needs to be tall and strong, but he also needs to be quick and agile enough to move around and possible put the ball on the floor. The center needs to stay "down low" the majority of the time, ready to catch the pass in the post or block shots on the defensive end.

The center needs to have a decent mini-hook and some nice low-post moves. Having a mid-range jumper is a big plus. Contrary to what you see in the NBA, the center shouldn't be shooting three's. His role is to stay down low and anchor both ends of the floor. A good center also has to be strong, and he needs to be able to shoot over taller defenders. Footwork is very important for a big man, who doesn't operate on quickness or speed.

The top priority for a team with a solid center is to get the ball down-low, and let him run the offense. If he can pass out from double-teams, your team's gonna be a deadly force to stop. You need offensive basketball plays designed for your center in order to maximize his talent and skill.

A simple play that can be run for your big man is clear-out. Clear-out is nothing more than an isolation play for your center. Its designed to get him open and get him the ball, in a position to score. He has to really post-up his defender well by spreading his legs wide, flexing his abs, using his off-arm to shield off the defender, and receiving the pass. He stations on one side of the court, and the guard with the ball is also on that side. The other 3 players move to the opposite side of the court...

The guard with the ball passes it to the center in the post and then runs to the other side where the other offensive players are. At this point, the center has the ball, and plenty of room to work with. If the double-team comes, the other offensive players should get in passing lane to receive the pass and atleast one player should cut to the basket for an easy scoring opportunity.

If the opposing team is playing zone defense, then most of the defenders will be clumped around the center as soon as he catches the ball. In this case, the center should look to make a cross-court pass to the other side of the court, just like Tim Duncan does so often in the NBA.

In order to be a real force, the center has to develop great low-post moves, gain strength, and work on his footwork. This puts tremendous pressure on the defense because they just can't leave him alone 1-on-1.

Even though the Clear-out is a simple offensive basketball play for a center, its very powerful. It allows the offense to run through an anchor, and it allows other players to get scoring easy opportunities through the center being double-teamed and having to pass out.

There are many plays & drills for centers and big men that you can see by visiting the links below:

Big Man Drills

More Offensive Basketball Plays