Special Situations: SLOB into Half Court Offense

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Talking through my approach to Sideline Out of Bounds scenarios and ways to flow directly into Half Court create actions.


My general approach to Sideline Out of Bounds opportunities is to get the ball inbounded safely and then flow directly into our main offensive action. In most cases, a SLOB possession means that we have already used a portion of the shot clock. Since we are using a 30-second shot clock in Massachusetts we don't want to waste much time in trying to create an advantage. Where the create action we flow into might change a bit from year to year my emphasis on getting the ball inbounded simply and safely has stayed the same.


Inbounding from the sideline can be tricky, and the one thing we do not want in these scenarios is turnovers. Turnovers on Sideline out of Bounds are especially bad because they almost always lead to easy fast-break baskets for our opponents. With that in mind, we want to use our spacing wisely and create easy decisions for our inbounder and our screener/cutter combination. There are endless options that coaches can use to get the ball inbounded, but we find that a simple cross-screen at the top of the key gives us enough spacing to receive the basketball and also counter any denial-based defense. In this post, we are going to look at the three different ways that we can flow directly into half-court offense from Sideline Out of Bounds.


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Check Out our Other Special Situations Posts:



DHO, Gap Drives -

We have used Dribble Drive Motion concepts like creating double gaps quite a bit over the past three years. Give what we said in the introduction about wanting to get into a create action quickly we wanting to get the inbounded safely, move people, and then open up that gap to attack right away. We felt as though a simple cross-screen and DHO to the inbounder combination could do this fairly simply.


DHO, Double Gap Drive -

Alignment:

We typically placing two wing players in each of the corners for spacing purposes.


At about lane line width we are setting up a simple cross-screen between our 5 and 1.


DHO:

On most occasions, the cross-screen is set and the 1 man is coming to receive the entry pass.

  • 5 Man Rolls to the Rim

After making the inbounds pass the 3 cuts over the basketball and receives the DHO.


Attack:

At this point, there is a solid Double Gap at the elbow area for the ball handler to attack. Once that attack is made we are relying on our Dribble Drive principles to take over and get a good shot from there.



DHO, Fan Action -

Alignment:

Just as before we are typically placing two wing players in each of the corners for spacing purposes.


At about lane line width we are setting up a simple cross-screen between our 5 and 1.


DHO:

After the inbounds pass is made we are getting an over cut and DHO to the inbounder. To set up the Fan Action we are dribbling over the slot in preparation for a slot to slot pass.


Fan Action:

Our Dribble Drive Concepts call for the player who makes the slot to slot pass to follow it with a 45 cut to the ball side corner. We typically call this a Blur Screen. If we call out "Fan" then the passer makes a cut to the backside corner and pushes the corner player though. This now opens up a double gap at the elbow for the basketball to attack. This is a nice adjustment if teams are switching the Blur Screen well.




DHO, Ball Screen -

Aside from the Double Gap Drive concept, we have also used a simple Spread Ball Screen to flow into out of the SLOB entry. Ideally, we want to get the ball into the hands of our best creator right away, try to get an advantage off of the ball screen and then leverage that into a good shot. From a strategic perspective, I would generally call for something like this if we were on the lower end of the shot clock. To initiate this we have a "head tap" call that the man with the basketball can make.


DHO, Ball Screen -

Alignment and Entry:

Just as in the Double Gap concepts we are starting with a man in each corner and a simple cross-screen at the point.


Teaching Concepts -

  • 5 Man Flash Back to Ball

  • 1, Use the Back Court


DHO:

After the entry pass is made he is making an Over Cut to receive the DHO from 1.


Spread Ball Screen:

We are not a heavy ball screen team so we are generally trying to keep things simple in this action. We are mostly hoping that we get some confusion from the defense and are able to create a shot for the handler or the roller. If nothing appears we want the 1 to "fill behind" to the point and then let our Dribble Drive principles take over from there.

  • Read Progression: Handler 1st, Roller 2nd, & Fill Behind 3rd.




Inbound Backscreen -

To take advantage of teams that were overplaying our best player we started employing the use of a back screen out of the SLOB entry. We would keep the spacing and entry action the exact same, but flow into a back screen action instead of the Gap Drive or Ball Screen. Even if we don't get anything out of the back screen we can simply play two man game with the backside corner and flow into any offensive concept we want.


Inbounder Back Screen -

Alignment & Entry:

Conceptually we are going to keep our alignment the exact same to avoid any confusion.

  • Corners Filled

  • Lane Line Cross-Screen

The entry pass is made the 1 - who promptly makes the slot to slot pass to trigger the action.


Cutter/Screener:

The design of this action is to get the inbound player (3) coming off of a back screen towards the rim.


Sequence:

1 - Look for the Cutter

2 - Cutter Fills out to Corner (if he doesn't get it)

3 - 5 Flows Down to the Block

4 - If the Cutter doesn't get it we play Two Man Game on the backside (DHO)


Post-Up Option (Frame 4):

One adjustment we used in 2016-17 to get the basketball to our post player was to run the inbounder off of his back screen and then have him duck in for a post-up. Instead of making the slot to slot pass the 1 Man would enter the ball into the Post and then space accordingly.




Point Series Entry -

One of the actions that I am most intrigued with this offseason is Point Action. I think what makes the Point Series so attractive is that you can run it as part of the larger Princeton System or use it alone as the main engine of your offensive. Similar to other offensive concepts we have used over the years you can flow into it easily from SLOB. I wanted to include in this point how I might incorporate this action into a Sideline Out of Bounds action in the future.



Point Action Entry -

Alignment & Entry:

We would keep our players aligned in a similar way with the corners filled and the cross screen at the lane line.


Unless denied the ball will be entered into the 1.


DHO Option:

One option that we could use, especially if the SLOB takes place below the three point line, is the DHO to the inbounder.


After the DHO the 1 would just fill the High Wing area.


Point Entry:

You can read more about this action in our Princeton Point Series post, but making the entry past the high post is the trigger to the action. Once this pass is made the passer has two over; Over or Away.

  • Over: He goes into Split Action with the Corner Player (4).

  • Away: He goes into Split Action with the High Wing player (1/3).



Concluding Thoughts -

Unless this is an end-of-game scenario we are not trying to do anything complicated with Sideline Out of Bounds scenarios. The goal is to simply inbound the ball safely and flow right into half-court offense. Turning the ball over in these scenarios can lead to momentum-changing plays and we want to avoid that at all costs. In choosing which create action we flow into one underlying factor that drives my decision making is to getting the ball in the hands of our best scorers right away. In years where we had really good slashers we tried to get the ball in their hands and create driving gaps right away, and in the years where we had good post players we employed the back screen and entry pass directly into the post. To me, the best way to approach Sideline Out of Bounds scenarios is to keep it simple, have good spacing, and get the ball in the hands of your best players.


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