Building Your Playbook: Add Sets With Multiple Actions

By Tony Miller

multiple actions, Bob Jones Basketball, FastModel Sports, PlayBank, playbook

There is incredible value in running sets with multiple actions, and the options are nearly endless – here’s a few to get you started.

For those who read last month’s article on plays with consecutive actions, you may have already begun tweaking your playbook to include a few more of these types of sets. Before you get too far into finalizing things, here’s one more suggestion…

What are Multiple Actions?

When you first started reading about consecutive actions, you may have thought it was just another way of referring to multiple actions – two or more actions occurring on the floor at the same time.

Consecutive actions are actions that happen back to back, designed to force a few defenders into navigating a difficult sequence.

Multiple actions are actions that occur at the same exact time, designed to force every defender on the floor to guard something.

Most of you have coached multiple actions for years. A quick look through the FastModel playbank, and you’ll find hundreds of great plays with those types of actions – double back screens, double cross screens, mover-blocker offense, etc.

Coaching Multiple Actions

If used well, multiple actions force all five defenders to guard an action at the same time, which can create great scoring opportunities for the offense.

Typically, a multiple action will involve some sort of screen, so it’s important to prepare your offensive players to read two scenarios:

  • If the defense switches, you may end up with a mismatch somewhere on the floor.
  • If the screen defender shows, you may have a slip to the rim for an easy two.

Simple enough, but could it be possible to make multiple actions even harder to guard?

Next Level Multiple Actions (with Consecutive Actions)

A lot of coaches quit reading this article about 3 paragraphs ago because they already know about multiple actions. But because you stuck with it, I’m going to give you a tip that will give those coaches’ teams major problems.

Here it is: When possible, combine your multiple actions with consecutive actions.

Let’s look at two examples: (click on the diagram to download it to FastDraw or email to a coaching friend)

One of the reasons we love a stagger screen is because it’s actually a consecutive action (two screens back-to-back) that forces the defense to either switch, or show and recover. Pair it with a DHO (or in the example below, a fake DHO) and you take away all help defenders from guarding the strong side of the floor. The result? An uncontested layup at the rim.

The combination of consecutive actions with multiple actions are great for OB situations. While a screen-rescreen is happening on one side of the floor with the 5 and 2, 4 is giving 3 a back screen on the opposite side of the floor. And there are even more scoring opportunities than just a shot for 2; 5 might be open on a slip to the basket, 3 could screen for 5 (as pictured) for a lob at the front of the rim, or 4 could be open for a short corner jumper if x4 shows on 3. If the defense switches everything, you should have mismatches all over the court!

Just like with consecutive actions, the combinations for multiple actions are almost limitless. It’s just up to you to find the best actions to fit with your personnel and system.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section or on Twitter about which consecutive actions have worked for your team!

More from Tony Miller: All Plays & Drills | All Blog Posts | Practice Tips | Rebounding | Press Defense | Inverted Offense

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Tony Miller

Men's Assistant Basketball Coach at Bob Jones University Bruins
Dr. Tony Miller is the men's assistant basketball coach at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. In addition, he serves as the director of BJU's sport management degree program.
BJU Bruins men’s basketball vs PCC, Jan. 18, 2019 (BJU Marketing/Derek Eckenroth)

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