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Offensive Basketball Plays: Formation Offense 1-3-1

The following offensive basketball plays all utilize a 1-3-1 formation, effective against most types of defenses.


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There are a few offensive plays on this page, so please scroll down to read all the way through. Each play is accompanied with pictures and descriptions.


In the diagrams, the dotted line shows the direction the ball travels, while solid & squiqqly lines show movement of the players...


Offensive Basketball Play #1: EASY 1-3-1











Start position is a 1-3-1 with two wing players a High post and a Low post.

The play should start on the weak-side.


If this is not possible we play an overlay (square out-fit), or the low center frees the side.


The next option is decided by the player on the high post.


a) simple CUT to the board followed by posting up in the low post.

The low post cuts to the basket and takes the high post position.

If both center playes are posting up on the ballside we can play a strongside square. 



Offensive Basketball Play #2: MULTIPURPOSE 32


1 dribbles in either direction, preferably away from 4. This takes away the entry pass, which can cause some problems.


2 goes to the low block to screen for 4, who breaks to the corner. 5 goes to the ball side elbow.

1 has the option to pass the ball to 4 for a shot, 2 on the low block, and 5 at the high post.


3 covers weak side rebounding.



If nothing is open ball is reversed to 5, who pops out to receive a pass from 1. 2 sets a screen for 4, then releases to the opposite wing while 3 is setting screens for 2 and 4. 5 rolls to the ball side elbow.


1 covers weak side rebounding.

2 has the option to pass the ball to 4 for a shot, 3 on the low block, and 5 at the high post.


1 covers weak side rebounding.


Ball is reversed to 5, who pops out to receive a pass from 2. 3 screens for 4, then releases to the opposite wing. 1 sets a screen for 3 and 4, who continues along the baseline. 2 maintains position for weak side rebounding.

This offense is effective when you don't have a good center, but have decent shooter with other players who can pass, screen and move.

It is most effective if the center can shoot from 12 to 15 feet and can handle the ball. The benefits of the offense are 1, 2 and 3 are interchangeable (basically running the same pattern) and the entry pass from the point to the wing is eliminated.



Offensive Basketball Play #3: OFFENSE 1-3-1


It is important that the wing players stay out wide at all times. This to allow maximum use of the court.


The one will pass the ball to the three and the four will cut to the sideline.

The three passes the ball to the four and then cuts towards the basket. If the three is open, the four will bounce pass to them and the three will drive for a layup.


As the three is cutting to the basket, the one takes the threes place and the two takes the ones place.


The five follows after the three as a second option to the four making a pass.


If there is no pass available to the three or five, the four passes the ball to the one to start a reversal of the basketball.


The three continues through the lane to the other wing.


The five is following through the lane as well.

The one passes the ball to the two at the top of the key.


The three makes her way to the other wing while the five makes her way to the elbow.











The two passes the ball to the three for the open jumper.


The four runs the baseline to look for a pass if the open jumper isn't there.


The five is back at the foul line looking for the ball if the open jumper is not there.

The three takes the open jumper.


If there isn't an open jumper, then the three passes to the four and cuts towards the hoop.


The five and four crash the boards for the rebound if the shot is taken.


The five follows the three through the lane if the pass is made instead of the shot, the two takes the threes place and the one takes the twos place, and the cycle starts again from the left side.


If the rebound is there either put it back up or kick it back out to start the cycle over again.



Offensive Basketball Play #4: INDIANA HIGH-POST


1 brings up the ball while 2 and 3 get open on the wing. 1 passes to 2 or 3 and the low post on the strong side comes to the high-post.


Note: at any time if 1,2,3 can take the open jumpshot or take their man 1 on 1 to the hole, then they should take the opportunity to do so. And this play can be run from either side.


Principals of this offense:


* posts cannot post up for too long or camp in the key while posting up. *everyone needs to be spread out!

Option 1: After the point guard has passed the ball to which ever wing he chooses, he fakes going to the weak side, and makes a v-cut to the strong-side for the easy give n' go while the high post screens his man. The pass from 2 should be a bounce pass.


Note: At any time the wings have the ball and there are two low-posts on each side of the floor, the wing with the ball can just play a simple pick and roll with the low-post on their side.



Option 2: If option 1 is not there, 1 continues through the key and goes through to the weak-side baseline. After setting the screen for 1, the high-post returns to the low-post and posts up to receive the feed from 2 and then posts up his man for the easy bucket.


Note: 4 cannot post up too long.

Option 3: If the pass cannot go into 4, he screens across the key for 5 fives who flashes through the lane to receive a pass from 2. 5 should get an easy bucket as well. (hook-shot would work well for 5 after receiving the pass) 4 should now end up on the other low block.


Option 4: If either low-post option is not there, 3 must come to the top of the arc and 2 passes to 3 if he is open, he can take the open jumper or take his man 1 on 1.

If it is not there, he continues swinging the ball to 1 who should move to fill in 3's position after he has moved to the top. If 1 is open than he can take the jumper or take his man 1 on 1.

The options 1 and 3 should be looking for in this position.


Note: getting open looks may be hard, so they may want to look to pass right away sometimes when the look isn't there.


Option 5: If 1, and 3 fail to get open jumpers or 1 on 1 opportunities, the ball should be in 1's hands.


1 looks inside to 4 who is now posting up. 1 feeds 4 the ball for the bucket in the low-post.

If all of these options should fail, 1 who has the ball now just passes back to 3 who re-starts the offence from the top!


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