With the knowledge of how to apply the press, you should be able to figure out how to [tag]break the press[/tag].  But, I have a couple of basic ways to break a press so your team doesn’t get caught making the bad passes and giving up easy baskets to the opposition. 

Knowing how to break a press is as important as being able to apply the press.  Breaking a press can lead to easy baskets just as the application of the press can.  Here are some of the basic rules to breaking the press:

-“ Quick, accurate passes will usually beat a press
-“ A plan to break the press is effective
-“ Be prepared for the press – so it doesn’t come as a surprise to your players
-“ Keep the ball in the middle of the court with the dribble – this prevents traps.  Pass to the outsides and then back to the middle to spread the press out.

1 man

This [tag]basketball[/tag] player is usually going to be the player who brings the ball up the court.  Your point guard most likely.  If you want to increase your chance of breaking the press, make sure this person is your best ball handler.  Being able to dribble well out of tough situations is going to make breaking the press a lot easier.

The 1 man also needs to be able to make quick passes to get out of the press situation.

2 and 3 man

These players are important in breaking the press.  They need to find open spots along the sidelines to receive passes and then move up the court.  The success of the press break relies a great deal on their ability to break the press and move the ball towards the basket.

They may also be required to set quick screens to break a man-to-man press so the one man can dribble the ball up the court.  The 2 and 3 man need to be alert and able to make the most of a difficult situations.

4 and 5 man

These are going to be your larger players.  They are also going to be your outlets to move the ball quickly down the court.  Since the object is quick passes, you need to have your 4 and 5 men ready to break into the open area to receive the ball.
The set up

Breaking The Press“ 

Here is one way this press break works:

-“ The 1 man brings the ball in (inbounded from the 3 man) and dribbles up the middle of the court.  It is important to make a quick pass to the 2 man to avoid the trap that could be coming. 

-“ Once the 3 man sends the ball inbounds, he or she will loop around and cut through the center to get the quick pass from the 2 man. 

-“ If executed quickly and correctly, it should create a 3 on 2 in the offensive zone. 

-“ From here, the 3 man, along with the 4 and 5 man can execute a quick 3 on 2 play for an easy basket.  Or, if time management is important, they can slow the offense down and wait for the rest of their teammates to catch up, and then run their regular offense. 

Other options for breaking the press

In the diagram above, the 2 man (or 3 man) can set a screen for:

-“ Either the 2 man (or 3 man) to create an opening for a pass
-“ Or, the 1 man to create an open lane for him or her to dribble

The 4 or 5 man can also come up to center court to create a numbers mismatch and an opening at center court.  One of these players can also set a screen on the ball or off the ball to create an opening for a pass or a dribble.

Another option for the press break is to dribble up the sideline and have the player (2 and 4 man, or 3 and 5 man) set a screen on the sideline for the 1 man. 

Breaking the press is as important as being able to set up a good press, as it can quickly turn the tide of the game in your favor.  If broken, you almost automatically have an odd man rush down the court in your favor.  This should lead to easy baskets. 

One intangible that you should understand is this:“  it is a tremendous psychological advantage for your team if you can both run and effective press, and break an effective press.  Once you can do both well, watch the effect it has on the other team.