Connecting Inbounds to Your Offense

By Randy Sherman

For “seamless” basketball, consider how to connect your BLOBs and SLOBs to your halfcourt offense as a whole.

There are an abundance of options available to coaches for sideline and baseline out of bounds plays. Where do you start? How do you select what inbounds plays are right for your team or program?

One criteria to help your sort through the sea of options is to consider how the BLOB or SLOB “terminates.” There are many inbounds plays designed to get a quick, open shot for a player, but what if that player gets a catch but does not have space to get off a shot?

Relying upon your team and players to then “set up” your offense can be risky as some opponents will prohibit your team from resetting the offense with ease. Also, resetting your offense affords the defense time to reset as well.

Consider the “termination shape” of the BLOB or SLOB as a criteria for what inbounds plays to install. Does the shape of the play at the termination point put you into your offensive alignment and allow seamless connection to halfcourt offense?

Odd, Even And Zero

Seamless basketball is possible from a BLOB system that connects to your offensive alignment. The box sets in the “Odd, Even, Zero” BLOB system, all begin with the same alignment. They each terminate in a three-out/two-in shape that allows the offense to flow directly into their motion offense. If a quick score from the BLOB options is not available the team is set to flow into motion.

Consider adopting ODD, EVEN and ZERO as a BLOB system if your base offense can flow from a three-out/two-in alignment.

Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down

The same seamless principles can apply to SLOBs. Below are two sideline plays that connect to a three-out/two-in alignment from which many offenses are run.

“Thumbs Up” features a flare screen and flex action and can even become a baseline stagger for your best shooter if timed well.

Use this as your “even” play to run when the last numeral on the play clock when the stoppage occurs is an even number. (For example: 6:42)

Above all, the play “terminates” into a shape that allows the offense to seamlessly connect to the base offense.

“Thumbs Down” features the same screen away into the flex cut that can turn into a stagger for the best shooter. Up top, the flare screen is replaced by a down screen that can be read just as any down screen in halfcourt motion offense.

Use this as your “odd” play to run when the last numeral on the play clock when the stoppage occurs is an odd number. (For example: 6:41)

Again, the play “terminates” into a shape that allows the offense to seamlessly connect to the base offense.

Consider ways to make your team’s play more seamless. Do you flow from transition offense into halfcourt offense without a wrinkle? Can you get into press offense right off your transition lanes? What are other opportunities to add “seamlessness” to your team?

Continue the motion offense conversation: 

For help with practice planning and implementation of a seamless motion offense attack, check out the RAMP program.

Explore and use the Twitter hashtag #MotionOffenseTips as well!

Any questions: Contact me. Happy to talk hoops any time day or night! If you would like to be added to the motion offense mailing list, email and let me know!

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Randy Sherman
Randy Sherman is the owner and founder of Radius Athletics - a basketball coaching consulting firm - where he consults with basketball coaches at all levels on coaching philosophy, practice planning, Xs & Os and teaching a conceptual style of basketball. While a head basketball coach at the the interscholastic level, Sherman's teams won 197 games in nine seasons.
Randy Sherman

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March 5, 2016: Sebastian Saiz #11 of the Mississippi Rebels defends the inbound pass during the NCAA basketball game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Ole Miss Rebels at Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville TN Tim Gangloff/CSM(Credit Image: © Tim Gangloff/CSM via ZUMA Wire)
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