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01 Сентября 2008 Журнал "FIBA Assist Magazine"

Виды спорта: Баскетбол

Рубрики: Профессиональный спорт

Автор: Guppillotte Arnaud

The Inside-Outside Game

The Inside-Outside Game

The Inside-Outside Game

The offensive efficiency of a team depends basically on the balance between the outside game (shooting from the 3-point line), the ability to penetrate the defense by dribbling, and the internal game (the post play). This balance provides a team on offense the chance to alternate each of these basic aspects of the offensive game, which allows it to open up the court and create problems for the defense, which is now spread out on the court. As you will see, the collaboration between the perimeter and inside players is an essential key for any successful offense. I cannot analyze all the aspects of the inside-outside game in this article, but I would like to first describe the play of the post, the 5, on both the technical and tactical side.



Create space to receive the ball: this is a primary aim of the inside player. He must create a space in the middle of the lane, on the low post, or on the short corner, providing a precise target for the passer. This will allow the outside player the best chance to pass him the ball. It is important that the inside player maintains this position and gives a target to the passer for a few seconds, without letting the defender push him away from his position.

Create a target to receive the ball: the inside player should provide the passer a definite visual target to pass him the ball: the outside hand, away from the defender is an excellent target.


Coaches cannot teach a definite position for every player.

Positioning will be set based on size and the physical and technical characteristics of each player.

Players will set themselves up in different ways on the court, but even so, there are some guidelines that every inside player should follow:

  • Keep close to the defender: maintain physical contact with him (with the back, arms, hips, and shoulder). This will help lock him into that position and keep him from getting to the ball.
  • Get around the defender if he moves in front: use the “swimming” movement (like the crawl style swimming stroke) to get by the defender, making good use of your arms and legs to gain the best position.
  • Maintain a low center of gravity: have a good, wide stance, which will keep you from being forced to push and fight too much for the position.
  • Move your head: this allows you to watch what is happening benind you as well as what is going on with your other teammates and defenders on the court.
  • Create a wide space: use the legs and arms to create as much space as possible so you can create a good target for the passer.
  • Point your feet: make sure your feet are aimed toward the half-court line so you can offer a secure target for the passer.


The attitude: The outside player must be able to drive and shoot to keep his defender busy, but he also has to be able to read the stance and position of his defender and use the proper pass (under the defender’s arms, at the hips, or head level) to get the ball to the post.


The outside passer must master different types of passes for getting the ball to the inside player, each based on the target offered by the inside player and the position of the defender.

  • Direct bounce pass (same hand, same foot).
  • Direct bounce pass crossing forward with the front leg (right hand, left foot, or vice versa).
  • Pass after a dribble for finding a better angle.
  • Lob pass (if the inside player is fronted).
  • Pass with the external or internal hand, when the outside player drives in the lane and passes to the inside player near him.

Aside from the type of pass used, the passer must be:

  • Quick.
  • Able to create space from the defender.
  • He can also fake before passing; for example, fake a lob pass, and then quickly make a bounce pass to the low post.

Tactical aspects: the outside passer must also be aware of the different situations on the court before making any pass to the inside player. Most importantly, he must be aware how the inside player is guarded. For example, if the post player is guarded in front, he can make a skip pass to the opposite side, while the inside player seals off his defender and then receives the pass from the other side of the court.


There are three types of collaborations that will get the ball inside:

  • With a pass.
  • By a dribble.
  • In an indirect way.

All these types of plays are designed to keep extra defenders from helping out on the post player, allowing the post player to either play one-on-one or else pass the ball back out to the perimeter player.


From the high-post area on the weak side, 5 cuts in the lane, seals his defender near the basket, and receives the pass from 3, who, after the pass, screens for 2 (diagr. 1).

From the high-post area on the weak side, 5 cuts in the lane, cannot receive the ball under the basket, so he then posts down in the low-post area, receives the pass from 3, who then screens for 2, and rolls to the basket toward the weak side. At the same time, 2 replaces 3 (diagr. 2).

From the high-post area on the weak side, 5 cuts in the lane, cannot receive the ball under the basket, and then sets himself out in the short corner, and receives the ball from 3, who then cuts in the lane and goes out on the opposite corner, outside of the three-point line (diagr. 3).


We can also use the collaborations by dribbling to get the ball to the post. Inside player on the low-post, on the ball side: If the outside player drives to the middle of the lane, the inside player goes to the short corner to receive a pass (diagr. 4).If the outside player drives to the baseline, the inside player goes to the high-post spot to receive a pass (diagr. 5).

Inside player on the low-post on the weak side: if the outside player drives to the middle of the lane, the inside player cuts on the baseline opposite to the path his teammate is taking to the basket (diagr. 6). If the outside player drives to the baseline, the inside player cuts to the middle of the lane (diagr. 7).

The inside player on the low post is over-played in front on the ball side: the wing on the weak side goes on the high-post spot, receives the ball from wing on the the strong side, and passes to the inside player, who has sealed his defender (diagr. 8).

The wing with the ball can also make a skip pass to the weak side wing. who passes to the inside player, who has sealed his defender under the basket (diagr. 9).

First Choice: one-on-one for the Inside Player. The area near the basket is where there will be the best shooting percentage, so the inside player, once he receives the ball, must be able to successfully play one-on-one and score.

Back to the basket: if the inside player has a size advantage on his defender, he must make two or three strong dribbles and step toward the basket to force his defender to step inside the lane.

Facing the basket: if the inside player is smaller than his defender, he must turn and face up to the basket and beat his defender to the basket with his quickness and strength. The inside player must be able to establish and keep contact with his defender, while always mantaining good balance.

Second Choice: passing to the outside players. If, after the count of three, the inside player cannot go to to the basket, he must be able to see the entire court, and pass to teammates on the perimeter. Once the ball is in the hands of the inside player, the outside players must move to new spots in order to give the inside player the best possible passing lanes (diagr. 10 and 11).


Let’s now see how we can apply the inside- outside game to the offense, showing different basic plays involving three players.

The player in the middle of the court passes to the wing, then cuts to the low-post spot, making a baseline screen on the weak side for the inside player (diagr. 12).

The high post receives the ball from the wing, who then cuts near the high post, receives a hand-off pass, and dribbles toward the other wing. The other wing goes down on the low post (diagr. 13). The wing on the low post then makes a diagonal screen for the high post, who cuts to the basket and receives the ball (diagr. 14).

The high post screens the wing and then, right after, is screened by the teammate in the low post (screen-the-screener). He cuts to the basket and receives the ball from the teammate who has dribbled on the other side of the court (diagr. 15).

The player in the middle of the court dribbles toward the wing, who then goes down to the low post spot to receive a screen by the high post. The wing then comes high and the post turns to face the dribbler and receives the ball from him (diagr. 16).

Five-on-five with the inside-outside play: here are some sample of offensive sets based on the inside-outside play.

The first one is a play that is often used by Le Mans, the French Division I team. Starting from a 1-4 set, the point guard passes to one of the wings, fakes to go to toward the ball, and then quickly cuts to the basket, brushing off the shoulder of the high post on the ball side. If the point guard is not open to receive the ball, he is screened by the weak side high post (diagr. 17).

After the screen, he goes outside the three-point line on the weak side. In the meantime, the wing with the ball has passed it to the high post, who popped out.

The high post passes to the point guard, while the wing on the weak side goes down on the low-post spot (diagr. 18).

The wing, who sets himself on the low post, screens-the-screener on the baseline, and then receives a vertical screen from the weak-side high post. The ball handler can pass to the post, who received the screen, or to the wing, who pops out of the vertical screen (diagr. 19).

Here is another offensive set that is often used by Barcelona, the Spanish Division I team. It is still based on the inside-outside play. Four players are in the lane, two on the low post spots, one under the basket, one at the high post, and the ball handler in the middle of the court. A player under the basket chooses to go out, using the screens of one of the low posts. In this case, he pops out on the right side of the court, and receives the ball from the point guard. In the meantime, the high post steps out of the lane (diagr. 20).

Right after he has passed the ball, the point guard is screened by the high post, cuts in the lane, and then starts to set a staggered screen with the low post on the ball side (diagr. 21).

The ball handler passes the ball to the high post, who sets himself outside the lane. The low post pass to the other weak side teammate, who has popped out of the lane. After the pass, the wing uses the staggered screen and cuts in the lane to receive the ball (diagr. 22).

I have only described a few of the offensive sets and detailed when they should be used for inside-outside play. However, the coach must adapt his offense to his players, especially to the skills of the inside players. Finally, he must create an offense that has continuity and proper spacing on the court.

Помимо статей, в нашей спортивной библиотеке вы можете найти много других полезных материалов: спортивную периодику (газеты и журналы), книги о спорте, биографию интересующего вас спортсмена или тренера, словарь спортивных терминов, а также многое другое.

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