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Use Least-Likely Scorer

When only seconds remain in a tie game and the ball is to be inbounded on the baseline, defenses focus on the big-time scorers — go the other way and win the game

This is a great play to use in a tie game with just a few seconds remaining. The set is designed for your least-likely scorer and catches the defines off-guard. The Portland Trail Blazers used it to defeat Denver last month with Robin Lopez scoring the bucket.

With the ball coming into play on the baseline, set up in a box. Portland had Nicolas Batum inbounding with LaMarcus Aldridge on the weak block, Wesley Matthews on the weak elbow and Damian Lillard at the strong elbow — all better scoring options than Lopez.

Aldridge pops high up the lane as Matthews clears to the far corner. Lillard flashes toward the ball-side corner as Lopez looks at the opposite block as if he’s going to set a screen, then begins sealing his defender [1]. Batum throws over the top to Aldridge. Lopez now has sealed his defender and is posting up in the lane. Aldridge makes the high-low pass [2]. Lopez powers up the in-close shot [3].


The quick glance by Lopez is important as defenders expect a lot of screens from a box set. This set doesn’t use any screens but giving the impression it does fools a defense.

Michael Austin

About Michael Austin

I’ve dedicated my professional career to advancing the education of basketball on a local, regional and national level, but my love of the game took off on the outdoor courts of my hometown in Massachusetts. From youth hoops to the highest level of collegiate basketball, I’ve witnessed and reported on it all, and I’m ready to take this knowledge to provide you with the best coaching publication available – Basketball Coach Weekly.

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