Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

5-out dribble-attack continuity

Northern Trailblazers Basketball

YouTube video - Attack 5-out Continuity
A 5-out continuity series with ball and player movement, force the defence into close-out situations (see Progressions below to add dribble-drive concepts and zoom action).

As 1 attacks, 2 backcuts and clears, 3 lifts up for a short pass, toss, or hand-off.

1 can hit cutter 2, attack the basket behind 2's cut, or just attack before 2 cuts.

1 can follow a pass to ballscreen for 3.

3 can shoot if defenders go under the action.

5 or 2 is the inbounder or rebounder.

See Shooting - Dribble hand-offs for reads and options. Clearing to the other side creates an empty corner and a two-man game. This can be a good drill to work on backcuts and dribble hand-offs.

1 clears to the corner, 5 meets a pass from 3, and can attack left or right (where the pass came from) or shoot.

3 can pass directly to 5, or off a dribble.


- 5 can catch in the weakside slot (see Euro ballscreen offence, below)
- 3 can pass back to 1 in the corner and clear weakside
- 3 can follow the pass to ballscreen for 5.

Repeat on the other side, 4 backcuts, 2 lifts for a pass or dribble hand-off. The dribble drive continues until the team finds the best shot within 24 seconds. Moving the ball from side to side is the best way to attack good defences.

5-out dribble-attack continuity is a simple, positionless version of Euro continuity ballscreen offence, see Offence - Kowalczyk ballscreen, Fast breaks - Triano early offence (Two-up), also Zone set plays - Wave sidescreen.

Todd Kowalczyk - 4 backcuts on eye contact with 5. 5 drives for a dribble hand-off with 2, who makes a two-step set-up toward the basket. 2 backcuts if the defence tries to steal the hand-off.

Jay Triano - 4 goes hard backdoor as soon as 5 catches it. 2 steps up, 5 swings it to 2 and follows to pick and roll. If 2 is denied, 5 does a dribble hand-off.

Greg Francis - 5 looks at 4, who takes a step to the ball then backcuts. 5 can pass to 2 and ballscreen, or usually DHOs. 2 sells opposite so X2 can't just chase over.
5 can roll or dive on a ballscreen or DHO, then 3 looks for a high-low pass.

Randy Sherman - when in a single gap and looked at, dribbled at or pivoted towards, cut to create a double gap.
Matt Hackenberg - 5-out screen away motion - 5 passes to 2 and brush cuts underneath to create a dribble-drive gap.

See Offence - Billy Donovan ballscreens.

Backcuts (and keep going) open up driving lanes, and DHOs keep the ball out of the corners. Having at least one player in motion avoids static 5-out spacing.

Cut to Score with the 45 Cut - a dribble-at almost always triggers a backdoor cut. Any time the wing is dribbled at, he can 45 cut to the rim and get a pass for a layup, or create space for the corner to blast cut.
Mike Brown System - 5 looks at 4 who backcuts for a layup or high-low post-up. If those aren't open, 4 clears to the opposite corner, 5 DHOs with 2. They will also get into zoom.
Option - dribble-at to trigger a backcut, or just finish the swing with a pass and cut.

Option - instead of passing to 5, 3 attacks middle, e.g. shoots, or kicks out to 4 and clears to the corner (or gets back out to the wing).

4 can drive to shoot or pass to 1 or 5 (and fill the corner).

Here 3 drives and kicks to 5 out top, and gets back out to the wing.

5 can shoot or re-start the offence.

Continuity DHOs are simple, effective, and positionless, suitable for youth basketball. Options can be added such as dribble-drive concepts and zoom action.

1) Dribble-drive motion

See Offence - Dribble-drive outline, 5-out dribble-drive motion.

a) Rotate behind middle drives

Here 5 and 4 rotate behind 3's drive, 3 passes to 4, and replaces 4.

3 can keep going for a dribble hand-off with 2, 4's cut makes room for 2 to lift from the corner.

4 can backcut or rotate behind (Vance Walberg).

See Scrimmage - Pasquali 4 on 4 stunt-recover.

See Mark Cascio - Middle Drive Reaction.

Here 4 backcuts on the middle drive.
See Offence - Kansas Weave for 4-out 1-in backcut-DHO continuity.

b) Drop zone

Instead of a dribble hand-off, 4 can stop in the drop zone, 1 kicks up for a pass (or backcuts, or stays in the corner for a pass).

Mads Olesen - if 4 gets pushed out of the drop zone, you can still run all the options with a dribble hand-off.

c) Double gap

On a pass out top, the passer can cut to the rim, pause, read the ballhandler, and exit opposite dribble penetration. The basket cut creates a double gap for 3, and 4-out spacing with a cutter under the basket.

Or 1 can just pass and stay to re-set the offence and change sides of the floor with a backcut by 2, which is my preference (the ball has already attacked the right side).

See Offence - 5-out creating gaps, 5-out dribble-drive motion.

Here 3 runs the offence to the other side, 4 and 1 fill behind as 2 backcuts.

d) Backcut or fill the top

On a drive from the top, the ballside wing can backcut if their defender helps up, or fill behind if their defender helps across or down (shown).
coachesclipboard.ca - on outside penetration from a swing spot, a ballside wing will "i-cut" (fill behind) if their defender helps across or down, or can back cut if the defender helps up to the ball.
Five-Out Dribble-Ats - pitch and pop - if X2 is low, 2 steps low then comes over the top for a hand-off (pitch) and shot, 3 gets a piece of X2. 3 can keep his dribble and dribble at 5 in the corner.
See Shooting - 3-line drive and kick (rotate behind, backcut or slide to the corner).

2) Zoom action


Kowalczyk - instead of a backcut, 2 pins down for 5 in the corner, then clears weakside, 3 still dribble hand-offs with 5.

Matt Hackenberg - 2 can backdoor cut or screen-in for 5 then clear (or slip a screen for 5).


Progression - 5 can reject or curl a pindown and clear weakside, 2 gets a DHO.

See Offences - Princeton Point series, Princeton Chin series, also Raptors 5-out (curl the screen, 2 and 5 stay ballside).up

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2007-24 Eric Johannsen