Slot to Slot Flow
Updated: Jun 17, 2022
One of my favorite ways to enter into half-court offense is to use the slot to slot pass as a trigger to cleanly signal 1) the end of transition offense and 2) the start of half-court offense.
My general preference when it comes to offense is not to have to make play calls every possession down the floor. I want the majority of our points to be scored with players executing the read-based create actions that we work on at practice every day. One of the concepts I have adopted to help facilitate this style of offense is the idea of establishing a trigger. To me, a trigger is essentially an unspoken action in your offense that serves as the clear transition from one phase of the game to the next. It does not require a call from a player or a coach.
When this trigger takes place we will build in an automatic cut or screen that then brings us into our main create action. The specific trigger that we will dig into in this post is a simple slot to slot pass. This is my preferred action because of its ability to blend naturally with almost any four-out offense. Regardless of whether I have employed dribble drive or screening-based actions I have been able to incorporate the use of this trigger. As soon as we cross the half-court line we are training our guys to maintain perfect four-out spacing and then hunt that slot to slot pass across the top to initiate our action.
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What is a Trigger? -
When I use the term trigger I am describing an action that signals to the players that we have now ended transition offense and begun half-court offense. The trigger is not something that a coach or player calls but is simply a dribble entry or pass that is made. Once this designated pass (or dribble) is made, we are immediately flowing into our half-court action.
The trigger that we will dive into in this post is a simple slot to slot pass made across the top of the key. This is my preferred trigger because:
Can be used with many concepts
Combined with a Cut or a Pass
The Slot to Slot Pass -
This concept fits best with Four Out Offenses which will utilize slot and corner spacing with their perimeter players.
We define the slot areas as the intersection of the lane lines and the "volleyball line". For courts that do not have a volleyball line, we use the NBA three-point line as the descriptor.
High & Wide:
We want these two players in the slot to be "high & wide" so that a hard, crisp slot to slot pass will be able to maximize our cutting/screening once it is completed. The more that we can drag the defenders outside of the three-point line the more of an advantage we will create with our initial action.
Pass & Cut Options -
Making the slot to slot pass followed by a "gap creating cut" is a great way to segway into dribble drive action. Coaches can choose to make this an automatic cut or give players a number of options to choose from once the pass is made. Either option can work, but we want to train players that once that pass is made, and the cut is completed we are then looking to attack the gap that was created.
The "45 Cut" -
The trigger here is that every time a slot to slot pass is made the passer makes a 45 cut to the ball side corner.
This cut should be made through the FT Line. I typically say that the cut needs to be made just inside of the paint.
"Get a Piece of Paint"
The other teaching point is that the cut needs to be made below the X4 defender. You do not want to let that defender get underneath your cut.
Attacking the Gap:
This cut has now created a nice double gap that the basketball can attack. Timing is the name of the game, and we want to get our defender to hesitate with dealing with the cut and defending our dribble attack from the slot.
"Fan Action" -
The trigger option here is that once the slot to slot pass is made the passer cuts to the strong side corner - pushing the player occupying the corner (2) to the opposite side of the floor.
The only real teaching point I would mention here is that this is a great option to help combat switching. If defenders are switching that "45 Cut" we mentioned above, then we can mix in this option as a way to keep defenses honest. I would also encourage players to have a hand signal to wave that corner player through.
Once again we have created a nice double gap to attack. We are looking to drive the slot and get to the rim, but if help comes we want to teach players the Drop and Quick Pitch options that they will have in those scenarios.
Pass & Cut into Point Series -
For those people who are looking to incorporate Princeton style movements than using the slot to slot trigger to Point Series is a great option. Just like above, we are getting the slot to slot pass to initiate,, then conducting a "Rub Cut" into the center of the lane. This cut is going to create an opening for the 5 Man to flash to the elbow to get us into Point Action.
Check Out my plan on how to incorporate Princeton Point Series.
If you are interested in the options available here take a look at this thread: