Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Press breaks
Canada Basketball

Basketball Canada
Level 3 Manual

General principles of pressure offence

- recognize the press
- be aligned to attack it
- give the ball to better ballhandlers
- a player who is trapped should have three short pass options and one long pass option
- come to the ball
- score against the press, but control the tempo.

A patterned press break can be used against man and zone presses (with a special entry for late-game situations). Use a good passer as the inbounder every time, checking for pressure, clearing the backboard, running the baseline if necessary, and first checking deep for an open player. Balance the court by spacing other players, ballhandling receivers are above the foul line so they can cut towards the ball.

To get open for the inbounds pass, receivers can

- v-cut towards the ball
- run at a defender to get even then pop free
- screen away and pop open
- stack and break to an open area.

On catching the ball, pivot and face upcourt. Pass the ball before the defence can trap. Have a player in the middle of the press.

Here 1 breaks to the ballside corner (but not the deep corner), on the inbounds pass 2 breaks diagonally across the court. If his defender does not follow the cut, generally the press is a zone. 3 steps inbounds as a reversal option.

A pass to 2 creates a 3-on-2 break. If 1 passes ahead to 4, 2 breaks up the middle.

Option - against a man press, 3 goes away from the ball and takes a defender up the far sideline, if 1 decides to keep the ball, other teammates clear out.

1 has three short passing options and one long option (to 5). Receivers come to the ball if 1 is trapped or has lost his dribble.

If 1 can't pass ahead, reverse the ball to 3, 2 cuts to the middle of the court, 5 breaks back as a reversal option.

The same approach can be used against a 2-2-1 press. Ball reversal is very important.

If 1 is not open for the inbounds pass, he screens away for 2 then rolls back to the ball. If 2 gets the ball in the ballside corner then 1 and 2 have reversed roles.

If 1 and 2 can't get open, 4 breaks back to the ball. On an inbounds pass to 4, 1 and 2 cut up the sidelines, 3 flares to the open side as safety.

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2007-22 Eric Johannsen