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Offensive Basketball Plays: Formation 1-4

The following offensive basketball plays all utilize a 1-4 Formation, effective against half court traps and pressure defense.

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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 & squiggly lines represent movement of the players...

1-4 High 2
1-4 High 1
1-4 Personal
Pick-N-Roll High

Offensive Basketball Play #1: 1-4 HIGH 2



1 Dribbles left while 2 curls of down screen at the elbow and receives a pass.


Note: 1 can dribble in either direction.

If 2 doesn't take a shot, look for 4 on cut.


Next look for 3 coming off a curl from 5 down screen.


2 passes to 3 and sets a screen for 1.


3 can drive, take a jumper, look to pass to 5 cutting, or pass to 1 coming off a curl at the elbow.

If nothing is open ball is reversed to 1 and start rotation over again.



Offensive Basketball Play #2: 1-4 HIGH



Point guard (1) has the ball.


Wings (2 & 3) are at free-throw line extended, outside three-point line, near sideline.


Posts (4 & 5) are at high posts (elbows).

Option 1 - Pass to Post


This option can be run to either side of the court.


If post (4) is being defended from behind, point (1), passes to post (4).



Option 1 - Pass to Post (continued)


Ballside wing (2) goes hard backdoor looking for pass from post. This pass will be with the posts outside hand (left in this case). Post is pivoting on inside foot.


Point guard (1) fills wing spot.


Weakside post (5) screens for weakside wing who cuts to fill point position.

Option 1 - Pass to Post (continued)


If wing (2) doesn't get backdoor pass he continues through to the basket and hooks back looking for another pass from the post. This pass from the post will be after he has pivoted towards the basket.


If the second pass is not available the wing (2) continues through the key to fill the weakside wing spot.


Weakside post can cut to the basket to look for pass, or return to high post.


If ball is passed back out to new point (3) the offense is reset.

Option 2 - Dribble Entry


This option can be run to either side of the court.


Point guard (1) indicates dribble entry with verbal call or other signal.


Posts (4 & 5) set up-screens, point guard runs his man into screen.


Ballside wing (2) cuts to basket looking for pass. If not on he flares to the corner.


Ball side post rolls to basket looking for pass.


Weak side wing moves down to corner.

Option 2 - Dribble Entry (continued)


If pass from point (1) to post (4) is not available, post (4) should seal defender and point will look for pass to weakside post (5) for high-low to low post (4).

Option 3 - Pass to Wing


This option can also be run to either side of the court.


On the pass from the point (1) to the wing (2), the ballside post cuts to basket looking for pass.


Weakside wing (3) moves to top to fill point position.


Point (1) cuts to weakside.


Weakside post (5) sprints across key.

Option 3 - Pass to Wing (continued)


Post (5) sets screen for wing (2) who drives to basket looking for layup.


Post (4) moves across (out of way of drive).


Point (1) moves to free throw line as possible receiver of dish pass from wing (2).


Offensive Basketball Play #3: 1-4 PERSONAL

Player 1 passes to the 2, player 3 is going to make a screen for 4 and 1 sets a screen for 5.

Player 2 with the ball has the following options a) give the ball to the penetration 4 b) pass the ball to 5 for a three points shot.

If player 2 cannot pass the ball to 4 he passes to player 5.

The 5 passes to 1 and uses the screen of 3 to enter the bucket, at the same time 4 sets a backscreen for 2 which also enters the bucket.

Player 1 can pass short to 5 or long to 2

Player 4 goes back for the defensive balance. 5 moves to the forward positon of 4. 2 goes to the low post postion.

The 1 player can pass to 2 for a shot from the corner or back to 4 so the play can start over again.


Offensive Basketball Play #4: BACKDOOR


Starting in the 1-4 position the ball is passed to a high post.


3 makes a v-cut and cuts to the basket.

3 gets the backdoor pass from 5 and scores.


Offensive Basketball Play #5: OVERLOAD



1 dribbles to either side after calling "O"


2 and 3 step-slide with 2 going to the corner and 3 step-sliding around arc keeping good spacing. The opposite post (4) crosses over and post up on the block.


Option 1: Our first option will be to see if we can hit 4 on the cut or 5 in a solid post-up position on the defense. If we cannot get the ball inside or the 4 or 5 kick it back out, we now have the option of a shot or to start reversing the ball.

Option 2: When the ball goes from the wing to the top of the key, the 5 will screen the middle defender in the zone as 4 cuts. If 4 does not get the ball for the easy shot, then 4 continues on to the high post. After making the solid pick, the 5 will finally release and go to the low block.

Option 3: If the pass is not made to the middle, then the 3 will start dribbling over to the other wing with the 1 following by step-sliding and filling 3's spot. The 2 will cut to the opposite corner as soon as he sees the 3 taking the ball to the other wing. This now sets us up in the overload on the other side and we continue running our cuts and rotation until we score.


Offensive Basketball Play #6: HIGH PICK-N-ROLL





1 pass 2. The 1 - 2 and 4 are making a triangle. 5 sets a side screen.


3 and 5 are playing pick and roll. This option is only used after another option is played. The defense has to be broad in its motion.

1 pass 2. The 1 - 2 and 4 are making a triangle. 5 sets a side screen.


3 and 5 are playing pick and roll. This option is only used after another option is played. The defense has to be broad in its motion.




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