Attacking A Half-court Trap

We attack a half-court trap much the same way we attack a 3/4 court trap (2-2-1, Box). Again we will set up in our regular press breaker, assuming the defense will pressure full-court. 04 takes the ball out of bounds, 03 working the right side of the floor and 02 working the left side of the floor. Both 02 and 03 will break long first and then come back hard for the ball if necessary. 05 will line up at the free throw line and 01 near the top of the key, but against a half-court trap we should be able to safely inbound the ball to 01.

Once the ball is inbounded to 01, 04 and 02 interchange, 02 stays behind the ball, 03 works the right side of the floor, 04 works the left side of the floor, and 05 works the middle of the floor.

Most half-court traps look to trap near the sideline, so the middle becomes a key area in attacking the half-court pressure. In order to be effective offensively 05 must be active and continue to work the middle of the floor by moving in and out, attacking from behind the defense.

01 must know where he is going to pass the ball before he picks up his dribble. If 01 were to pick up his dribble then decide where to pass, it would be too late. The defense would have time to quickly form the trap using the half-court line and sideline as two more defenders. It would be like 5 on 7.

01 will first look to the middle of the floor to 05. If 01 is able to hit 05, 05 would receive the pass and then turn and face the basket, looking to hit either 03 or 04 breaking towards the basket.

01’s second option would be to reverse the ball to 02, after the defense had started to commit itself. 02 must be sure to be completely across the half-court line, if 01 had already crossed the line, to avoid an over and back violation. 02 would then look to hit 05 who is actively working the middle of the floor. If 05 is not open, 02 looks to 04 who has moved towards the baseline to spread the defense, to 03, and then back to 01. 02 also has the option of dribbling the basketball.

This may be a good option, especially if 01 got the defense to start to commit before reversing the ball to 02. If 02 decides to dribble the ball, he must be able to get by the front line of the defense. 02 must not simply take a couple of dribbles and then pick up his dribble, falling into an easy trap.

We will look to attack the basket against a half-court trap. If nothing develops, we quickly move into our half-court zone offense overload.