The 3 player 3 action combinations got a lot of attention, and we’re still at the basic layers. Not to mention there were a lot of combinations that I didn’t draw up. The truth is that 3 perimeter players is somewhat limiting. There are only so many actions you can execute before timing and spacing are not optimal. Not to mention, that if you’re going to play with 4 or 5 perimeter players, you’re going to want to start working in that direction. Let’s look at 4 perimeter player combinations and how that 4th player makes such a big difference in perimeter actions.
The first action occurs which creates a cutter. Then the second action occurs which creates a second cutter. Well, if the first cutter hasn’t had a chance to fill to a spot, the ball handler may be stuck waiting for a second for someone to fill. With a 4th perimeter player, there should always be someone available 1 pass away. This is very significant, because now the ball handler has the opportunity to execute another action. Of course, it’s not as if they have to stand in one spot with the ball. But they are limited to the actions they can execute.
In a 3 out 2 in alignment, there is a premium on post players. They must be very active and productive off the ball. The perimeter players must learn how to use them effectively. Also they play an important role in filling open windows on dribble penetration. This helps perimeter players make decisions about where they should go. In executing the 3 player combination drills, there are times when it’s impossible for the guard to know where they should be because there’s no post player to play off of. In addition their location plays a huge role in the opportunities for cutters to be open. Since we haven’t talked about post play very much, the use of the 3 player combinations is a good teaching tool, but it isn’t enough.
I will take the same 3 action combinations and add a 4th player to the diagram. Where this 4th player starts can create significant differences in what happens in the combination. These 4 player combinations can be run out of a 5 out alignment or out of the typical 4 out 1 in alignment. For the sake of time, I will draw them out of the 5 out alignment. Later, I will adjust them to the 4 out 1 in alignment.
We’ll start with these. If you want to see something else, let me know.
4 offensive players (Dribble-At, Attack Dribble, Pass & Cut)
4 offensive players (Pass & Cut, Attack Dribble, Attack Dribble)
4 offensive players (Pass & Cut, Dribble-At, Attack Dribble)
4 offensive players (Skip Pass, Attack Dribble, Dribble-At)
4 offensive players (Dribble-At, Skip Pass, Attack Dribble)