Basketball Plays – Simple and Effective Box Plays

The key to effective basketball plays for beginners is keeping it simple. The following plays use a box formation, a good beginning formation that provides opportunities for outside shots and post shot plays and allows some flexibility for various scenarios.

Backdoor Play

This quick hitting play works well when facing intense man-to-man defense.

  1. To start this box formation play, # 1 is at mid-court with the ball, and # 2-5 are positioned in a box in the free throw lane, with # 4 and # 5 at the free throw line and # 2 and # 3 closer to the basket.
  2. The play begins with # 2 and # 3 rushing to the wings.
  3. # 1 passes to # 5, and # 3 cuts backdoor for a layup.

Blue Play

This box formation play begins with the same positioning as the previous play, except that this time # 2 is at the right side of the free throw line and # 3 is at the left side of the free throw line. # 4 is closer to the basket on the left and # 5 is closer to the basket on the right.

  1. The play starts with # 1 calling out "blue," and # 2 and # 3 using a jab step or v-cut to go toward the middle and then rush to the extended free throw line. # 1 passes to either # 2 or # 3, who is more open (make sure to switch up who receives the ball as this play is repeated).
  2. If the ball goes to the # 2, then # 4 (the offensive player on the opposite side of the original box formation) rushes to the free throw line. # 5 posts for two counts and, if he has not received the ball yet, v-cuts to the middle and then toward the corner on the same side.
  3. # 2 then passes to # 5 and breaks for the basket, looking for a pass back. # 4, positioned at the free throw line, if not open will roll down the lane and then continue to the other side.
  4. If no one is open, # 1 will move to where # 2 was (at the right side wing) and get the ball back from # 5. # 3 will move to where # 1 was, at the top of the key.
  5. Once # 1 has the ball, # 5 will rush toward the basket and look for the return pass. # 1 will pass back to # 3 as # 2 moves around toward the elbow and positions for a possible jump shot.
  6. # 4 will post a block for two counts and then break to the corner. If # 2 is not open, # 3 should look for # 4. # 5 should flash to the middle and wait for an open shot or the rebound if # 2 is able to shoot. Players should remember to clear the key by moving to the free throw line if they are not able to get the shot.

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