The Box Set offense in basketball stands out as a popular offense because it is purposefully designed to get easy buckets. This offense requires precise movement and timing, but when properly executed, the box set leads to scoring opportunities. These sets incorporate both on-ball and off-ball screens, and can be deployed against both man-to-man and zone defenses. The box set can also create solid low-post looks.
Some of the most famous coaches throughout the history of basketball, including Chuck Daly, Mike Krzyzewski, and Dean Smith, used variations of the box set offense at different points in their careers. Box allows the ball to flow into the hands of your best playmakers in sports on the floor where they will be successful.
Box Set Offense: Low-Post Look
Unlike the Box Set Isolation play, this set sports multiple actions to create good shots. Ideally, this set begins with the same alignment as other Box Set plays in your playbook. This helps prevent opposing defenses from immediately recognizing the play. Having the same set up also makes scouting your team more difficult.
This box set is designed purposefully to get an open low-post look for your best post player. If the opposing defense covers up that shot, the second action of this play creates an open look for your team’s best shooter. It’s imperative to stress the importance of cutting hard for both the post and the guard in this set.
Box Set Low-Post Progression
This box set play begins with the same alignment as the Box Set Three-Pointer play, with your team’s two big men occupying the elbows. Your wing players, 2 and 3, start on the low blocks.
The play starts with a series of cuts. Player 5 pops from the right elbow to the left wing and receives the initiating pass from Player 1. The point guard then cuts down to set a screen for Player 4, who curls to the top of the key. Following the screen, Player 1 cuts to the weak side wing. As this action unfolds, Player 2 cuts to the strong-side corner, and Player 3 moves from the left block to the right elbow.
The next action involves 5 reversing the ball. Player 4 receives the centering pass and reverses to Player 1 on the wing. As those passes occur, Player 3 sets a back-screen for Player 5 at the elbow. Player 5 uses that screen and cuts down the lane. Player 1 can either hit Player 5 on the cut to the basket, or once 5 establishes himself on the low-post.
The second action for this box set low-post play creates an opportunity for your team’s best shooter.
If Player 1 can’t get Player 5 the ball, the next movement begins. Player 3 and Player 4 set stagger screens on the weak side for Player 2. The shooter cuts up from the corner, curling along the three-point line.
In this box set, Player 1 can ball-fake to the low-post before passing to the shooter. Player 2 uses the stagger screens and receives the pass at the top of the key. He can either take that shot, or attack the lane. A hard dribble drive could draw Player 5’s defender, leaving the low-post open for a drop off pass.
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