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Base Cross (Post Isolation) Offense

| Overview | Basic Reads | Post Options | Entries | Continuity | Case for Defense |

Posting up is a big part of the game of basketball. It is truly an advantage to have a dominant force inside. However, post ups are not limited to just big men, look for all teams to exploit size mismatches at any position. In addition, teams will commonly deploy the tactic of a small player setting a screen for a big player to create mismatches such is the case with the Base Cross offense.

We coaches have a tendency to make the game too complex. At first glance the Base Cross offense may look simple, but it's the execution of the baseline screen that is the key to making it so devastating.

Base Screen

The basic option is for the point guard 01 to dribble clear the wing 03. 03 then sets a baseline screen (small screening for big) under the basket for the post O5. O5 comes off O3's screen for a shot or a strong post up. O3 after setting the baseline screen will either continue out to the weakside wing off the power forward's down screen or pop back up to the free throw line if the defense switches.

Base Screen

The point guard O1 can also initiate the base cross screen by making an entry pass to the wing O3 and making a "Give & Go" cut to the basket. If O3 is not open on the basket cut, O3 continues and sets a baseline screen for O5. Post O5 comes off smaller O1's screen for a shot or a strong post up. O1 after setting the baseline screen will either continue out to the weakside wing off the power forward's down screen or pop back up to the free throw line if the defense switches.

 


 

Entry Variations

Various NBA teams have adapted the Base Cross screen action to take advantage of their specific player personnel. Most of these variations are actually secondary entries into the base screen action. Some of these more frequently used Base Cross variations used in the NBA include:

Pass Entry

Instead of dribble clearing the wing, the point guard has the option of making an entry pass to O3 and setting a baseline screen under the basket for O5. O5 comes off O1's screen for a shot or a strong post up. O1 after setting the baseline screen will either continue out to the weakside wing off O4's down screen or pop back up to the free throw line if the defense switches.

UCLA Entry

Point O1 makes an entry pass to O3 and rubs off O4's high post screen. If not open O1 continues and sets a baseline screen under the basket for O5. O5 comes off O1's screen for a shot or a strong post up.

Hawk Entry

Point dribble penetrates down sideline as O2 cuts off O4's high post screen. If not open O2 continues and sets a baseline screen under the basket for O5. O5 comes off O1's screen for a shot or a strong post up.

 


 

Base Cross Continuity Options

When a good shot is not available off the base screen action, the Base Cross Offense can flow directly into an array of continuity options based on player personnel:

Power (Passing Game)

The Power Passing Game is initiated with O4 setting a down screen for O1 on weakside. Wing O3 makes a reversal pass out to O2 and then down screens for O5. O4 looks to pass to O1 coming off O4's down screen and then screens away.

When the defense switches on the weakside down screen O2 looks to feed O4 posting up against the smaller defender or passes to O1 for a better angle to feed the post.


Single Double

The "Single/Double" is a popular variation of the Power Passing Game. Wing O3 makes a reversal pass out to O2 and then sets a double screen with O5 for O1. O1 then has the option of either going off O4's down screen or doubling back off the double screen. After setting the double screen, O3 pops out to the opposite wing from O1.


Triangle Post Action.

The Base Cross offense can flow directly into the Triangle Offense. Wing O3 makes a reversal pass out to O2 who in turns passes to O4. The sideline triangle is created by O1 clearing out to the corner and O5 moving across lane and posting up. O2 and O3 set up for weakside two person game.

Once sideline triangle is establish all Triangle Post options become available.


Flex (Pick the Picker) Action.

The Flex action is initiated by O2 and O4 assuming a two guard front alignment and O1 clearing to corner. O3 makes a reversal pass and cuts off O5's base screen. O2 passes to O4 and sets a down screen for O5.

If a good shot is not available, the Flex action is continued with O4 passing to O5 popping out off O2's down screen. O2 clears to corner as O1 comes off O3's base screen. O4 then down screens for O3.

 

Learn More

Continue and learn about the proper execution of the Baseline Screen.