Contributed by Brett Ayers. Email the author at

Here are the four entry plays that I came up with last night while watching the Yankees/Rangers game at the behest of a high school coach from the west coast. All of these are being described as if you are looking from half court at the basket.

Entry Play #1

Starts with a 1-4 set.  You have 1 with the ball at the  top, over to the right side.  Your 4 and 5 men will be high on either side of the three point line right off the elbows of the key facing each other.   Your 4 will be on the left side, your 5 man on the right side.  They will be straddling the three point line facing each other, hands on their knees as stationary picks that the 1 will dribble between and come off of going right.  Your 3 man will be out at the wing on the right side outside the three point line at the free throw line extended and your 2 man on the left side in the same position as your 3.  

As the 1 man dribbles into the gap between your 4 and 5, he then comes off as close as he can off of 5's shoulder using his stationary pick dribbling over towards the right wing.  Just as he starts to come off of 5, your 3 man will run a shallow cut and come up and set a back pick on 4's man.  4 cuts off that pick right to the block and this is your first option.  Everyone is high except 4 on the block on the right side posted up.  As one dribbles over looking at 4, your 2 man on the opposite wing steps in and sets a back pick on 3's man who just set that pick for 4.  3 flares out off of this pick to that far side, outside the three point arc.  Gives 1 the option of the over the top skip pass to him. 

As soon as that pick is set and 3 has flared, 5 then turns from his high position along the three point arc on the right side and steps across the lane high to set a pick for 2 who will then pop up towards the right side of the court outside the three point line around the top of the key area for the spot up three point shot as the third and final option on this entry play.

Entry Play #2

Starts with standard 1-4 set straight across the free throw line extended.  You have your 5 man on the wing on the left side, your 3 man on the elbow on the left side, your 2 man on the elbow right side and your 4 man on the wing right side.  The 1 dribbles the ball towards the right side, more towards the sideline than along the three point line.  As he does this both 2 and 4 take three steps straight across that free throw line extended area set a double staggered pick for three to either run straight over the top of out to that right wing or underneath to the wing. 

Now, if the defense goes over the top all 3 has to do is just break back towards the hoops for the lob from 1 because once again you have everyone at the free throw line extended or higher.  3 pops straight out to the right side wing, 1 passes him the ball.  As 2 and 4 go to set those picks 5 cuts to the right side block.  5 is at the block and when 1 passes the ball to 3 on the wing, 5 comes up from the right side block toward 4 who will be around the right side elbow and sets a back pick on 4's man who then either rolls over the top of the pick or behind the pick depending upon how his defender is playing him for either the direct pass around the block and or for the lob from three over the top going down the middle of the key. 

1, after passing the ball to 3, waits for the back pick on 4 by 5, he then flares over a bit towards the top of the key to where 2 is after setting his pick for three to come off initially and 1 sets a down pick for 2 around the middle of the free throw line and 2 comes off for a possible three pointer at the top of the key and 1 flares out to the weakside wing at the free throw line extended on that left side spotting up.  Or in the case of your point guard, until he gets his shot more accurate, he can flare out left but not that far out and down a bit for the 15 footer out on the wing down around the mid-post extended area.

Entry Play #3

 This entry play starts with your 2 and 5 man stacked at the left elbow of the key and your 3 and 4 men stacked on the right side block.  In both cases you have your big men in front of the stack and your wing players behind them in the stack. 

1 starts once again dribbling the towards the right side. As he does this, 2 cuts from the top stack on the left side down below coming off a double pick from 3 and 4 on the right block out to the right side corner.  1 dribbles the ball over the right wing spot at the free throw line extended and passes 2 the ball in the corner.  

As 2 is passed the ball, 5 steps down from the left elbow into the middle of the key and 1 comes over to the middle of the free throw line.  Both the 5 and then the 1 will set double staggered down screens for 3 who will cut from the bottom of that stack he was in with 4 on the right block.  3 will cut up off looking for a jump shot anywhere after getting past 1 on that second pick. 

As soon as 3 leaves to cut off of 5 and 1's picks, 4 will pop straight out at a 45 degree angle to that forward spot on the right hand side at the free throw line extended.   2 will pass him the ball and 4 will then look to deliver the ball to three coming off those two picks. 

Now, if the opposing team starts cheating on this and coming over the top of those double staggered picks 3 only has to fade out to the left side and 5 and 1 can just turn a bit sealing his defender on the right side of the court while 3 fades out for a either a short jumper from the left wing or maybe even a dribble or two for a lay in if 4 throws the skip pass over the top from that right side forward position.  3 pops out getting the ball at the area around the top of the key with the whole left side of the court open to him allowing him to drive. 

As 3 gets the ball and squares the last option is 5 stepping out from the middle of the key where he just got done setting that first screen for 3 coming off of that bottom stack, 5 steps out towards four who is out at that wing position outside the three point line at the free throw line extended and making sure to give 4's defender a one step cushion so 5 does not get called for an illegal pick, 4 will cut either over or under 5's back pick on his man towards the left side block where 3, if 4 is open, will hit him for a five foot and in shot.

Entry Play #4

This entry play starts in a box.  1 at the top over to the right side outside the three point line with the ball.  3 is at the elbow on the left side and 5 is on the elbow right side.  4 is on the block left hand side and 2 is on the block on the right hand side. 

1 dribbles the ball in a bit and 5 steps out from his right side elbow above the three point line and sets a pick for 1 to dribble off of.   As 1 comes off of the pick from five, 2 pops out from that right side block to the corner outside the three point line and 3 takes two steps straight up from his left elbow position and 4 steps up from his left side block position and sets a back pick on 3's defender and giving 1 the option of throwing the lob to 3 with the entire left side of the floor clear.

It is important that 3 take those two steps out, even putting his hand out and calling for the ball selling his defender on him getting the ball and making his defender tighten up on him a bit making it easier for 4 to set that back pick and give 3 even more room for the lob. 

If that is not open immediately then 2 who is out in the right hand corner then steps in from the corner about two or three feet off the block on the right side as 3 hesitates in the middle of the key for a second and then comes off of a baseline pick that 2 sets for him and busts out to the right hand corner giving 1 the option of passing 3 the ball anywhere along his cut off that baseline pick. 

As soon as 3 comes off of 2's pick 5 who has just set that on the ball pick for 1 up off the right elbow outside the three point line now goes straight down and sets a pick on 2's defender  and 4 who had set the initial back pick on 3 for the lob steps over a step or two into the lane and 2 comes off a double staggered pick from both 5 and 4 and 2 pops up straight off those picks right around the three point line on the right hand side straight off the elbow of the key.  1 can then of course throw that mini skip pass over to 2 for the three point shot.   5 then turns and post up on the right side block and 4 just pops right up to the high post area around that right side elbow area of the key giving 1 two more options. 

Hope that makes sense.  This is what happens when you ride the subway too often and then come home to a Yankee game on the tube.