Basketball is such a beautiful game when players and the ball are moving with a purpose. I watched most of the Celtics game against the Sonics tonight and I took a clip of this sequence early in the fourth quarter as the Celtics were pulling away. Though the Celtics have three great individual players who can breakdown anybody defending them at will, it's when they are sharing the ball and moving when they are the most effective. This sequence is perhaps one of the best clips I've seen so far in the early season that epitomizes exactly what team basketball is all about, cutting, screening, passing, dribble penetration, shot fakes, and great shooting. And the defense was called for a foul on the shot to top it all off. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,

Handoff, Penetrate, Kick-out:

The sequence starts with the posts at the elbows and the wings flattened to the baseline. O1 dribbles toward the wing then passes to O5 who steps out to receive the pass.

After the handoff, O2 fakes to receive the handoff but instead does a basket cut. O1 goes to fill the wing spot. O5 should look for O2 on the basket cut if open.

Once O2 clears, O1 comes back up top to receive the handoff from O5. If open, O1 should shoot the 3-pointer. Simultaneously, O4 sets a downscreen for O3 who curls up top around the elbow.

O1 dribbles towards then passes to O3 curling around the elbow heading towards the hoop. After O1 passes, he flares to the opposite wing.

Once O3 catches the pass, the Sonics defense actually does a good job of stopping the penetration so the Celtics go inside-out and the ball is kicked back out to O1. X1 is late on the rotation but recovers well. O1 gives a nice head fake causing X1 to overcommit and O1 does a quick 2 dribbles up the wing and shoots the jumper, X5 fouls O1 at the end trying to close out.


Probably not a real useful play to use for a HS team, but I wanted to demonstrate when players execute well by moving, screening, cutting and passing, the game can be so great to watch. It's like watching a great broadway musical, everyone moving in sync with one another, that's team basketball.

If you're looking to help your players become better team basketball players by improving their fundamental skills in moving without the ball taking a look at the Five-star Basketball DVD on getting open and attacking. Coach Bergeron goes through all the basics of cutting as well as flashing to the post and dribble penetration. To discuss this and other basketball coaching topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum.