Almost all teams run a three out, two in offense. Your point guard, shooting guard and small forward out on the perimeter, with the power forward and center down low on the blocks. This formation is wonderful if you’ve got traditional players at all five positions: big bangers down low and ball handlers who can shoot the ball on the outside. But what if that’s not how your team is constructed?
The Utah Jazz have three extremely talented big men – Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, and Derrick Favors. All three spend the majority of their time on the floor at the four and the five, but with a hole at the small forward position, they have experimented with putting all three big men on the floor at the same time, moving Paul Millsap, the best ballhandling power forward in the NBA, at the three spot.
With a traditional 3-2 offense, this lineup would not be very effective. Millsap’s range doesn’t extend out to the three point line, and planting him out there would allow his defender to sag into the paint, clogging up the lane for his teammates. That’s why Utah would be best off going with the High Post Offense.
High Post Offense – UCLA Guard Cut Double Screen
This is the first wrinkle of the high post offense.
To take advantage of the size of this lineup, the keys are to keep off ball defenders occupied with plenty of screens and off ball movement, and to make quick concise decisions with the ball.
We start off with our center on the middle of the free throw line, with our (big) small forward on the left block, and our power forward on the right block. We have our guards in a two guard set up top, one on each side of the court, out at the three point line.
To initiate the offense, the power forward will v-cut out to the perimeter. Next, the center will step towards the point guard, setting a backscreen. Remember to tell your guard to misdirect to the outside, and then break hard inside off the screen, looking for the pass. As soon as the screen has been used, our center is going to sprint over to the short corner.
While this is going on, the power forward is going to pass to our shooting guard, who has just flashed towards the ball at the top of the key. Once the ball leaves the power forward’s hands, they’re going to go set a double screen with the center. Our point guard will curl out from underneath the basket, using the screen and popping back out on the right wing.
The shooting guard will hit the point out on the wing, and space back out to the left side, ready to catch and shoot if need be. The forward on the weak side will space out as well, but no more than 15-18 feet – they need to be in range, or ready for one of the other possible actions from this set.
The center, set up on the high side of the double screen, will backscreen now for the power forward, who will curl out to the strong side elbow, while the center flashes to the block. Who gets the ball here is the point guard’s read, and is completely dependent on which defender leaves their check to help the other. Either way you’ll either get your power forward catching at the elbow with a defender closing out, or your center on the block with the defense off-balance.
This is just the first of many possible actions from this set, and one of the more simple. If y’all want to see the other wrinkles, let me know in the comments section below!
If you’re looking for more offensive ideas, make sure you check out our complete directory of basketball plays. You’ll find step by step tutorials for the most popular half court sets, as dozens of proven plays you can take right to the gym.