3-Out 2-In Motion Offense Guide

Posted by Coach Chris on 25th Sep 2018

3-Out 2-In Motion Offense

Is your team a force to be reckoned with in the post? If your best players are post players, the 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense may be the answer to your offense needs. You’ll have no regrets by adding this offense to your game plan.

The 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense involves two players in the post and three players positioned around the perimeter. The goal is to get the basketball inside, but all the scoring doesn’t have to fall on the shoulders of your post players. Feed the ball to your post players, but there will be chances to kick the ball back out to open shooters. This gives your team a balanced, inside-outside game.

In this article, you will learn the strengths and weaknesses of implementing the 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense along with the basics of the offense to determine if it’s the right fit for your team.

Strengths of the 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense

  1. Develops Basketball IQ. This offense allows players to develop their game because it forces them to learn how to read the defense and their teammates and make decisions based off what they’re seeing unfold.

  2. Takes Advantages of Mismatches. If you see a size or skill mismatch, this offense allows you to put that player in a better position to attack. Post them on the block and run the ball through them. This will force your opponent to make a decision to either substitute that defender or switch them onto someone else which could create another mismatchs.

  3. Offensive Rebounds. Offensive rebounding should be an emphasis. With 2 players close to the goal, you should be in a solid position to get offensive rebounds. These rebounds will lead to second chance points for your team which can help win games.

Weaknesses of the 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense

  1. Less Driving Opportunities. With 2 player in the heart of the lane there will not be enough space for attack the rim off the dribble. If you have multiple players who specialize off the dribble this offense may not work for your team.

  2. Strong Post Players. Your post players have to be an all-around threat because this offense focuses on getting them the ball. They must be able to score consistently, passing out to shooters, and coming up with offensive rebounds. If your post players aren’t capable of doing these then this offense will not be a success.

  3. More Turnover Possibilities. The spacing on the perimeter creates more long passes which can be dangerous for any team. If the defense gets their hands on the ball then it’s most likely a steal and fastbreak ending in a score on the other end.

Who should use the 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense?

The 3-Out 2-In motion offense is built for a team with two solid post players. The offense is going to be concentrated on getting the ball to them and you’ll need them to be smart when it’s in their hands. They’ll have to be able to decide whether their best move is to score or pass the ball out to a teammate.

While this offense is centered around the post play, the perimeter players can flourish as well. When the ball comes out of the post, you need players who can knock down outside shots. Therefore, if you’re team is full of great shooters then this is the offense for you.

With this balanced attack of inside-outside, it will be hard to guard your team. The strong, scoring post play will open up outside shots for your perimeter players. Knocking down jump shots will force the defense to guard your shooters and will open up the lane for post players to go to work scoring from the block.

3-Out 2-In Motion Offense Rules

  1. Spacing is Key. For this motion offense to work, there should be about 12-15 feet of space between players at all times. With this amount of space, players can cut and drive. It also makes it harder for the defense to help each other if they get beat.

  2. Pass and MOVE. After a pass, perimeter players should perform an action move wether it’s cutting, screening away, or coming off a screen from a teammate. Post players should be looking for an open space to cut to after passing.

  3. No Standing. Give your team 3 seconds to stand in one spot then they have to move. The more movement and working together to get open the better your offense is going to be and the easier it will be to find an open shot.

  4. Find Open Space on Drives. When a player attacks the rim, all the other players have to read the drive and find an open spot to be available if the defense stops the ball. Making a cut and relocating on the perimeter are two moves players can do to get open for a kick-out or dump pass - and it keeps the offense spaced. they'll get open for a shot and will also ensure the offense keeps good spacing.

  5. Denied? Backdoor Cut. If you’re being denied out on the perimeter, backdoor cut to the basket. All players have to be able to realize their defender is over playing them and use the back cut to their advantage. Cut hard, don’t hesitate, and be ready for a pass.

  6. If strong side post is fronted, weak side post flashes to high post. This is an easy rule for your post players to follow and honestly they should want their defenders to guard this way because it’s an easy score for them. As soon as they see the strong side post’s defender try to front guard - the weak side should immediately flash to the high post then look for a high-low pass to the block.

3-Out 2-In Motion Offense

Setting Up

The 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense starts with 3 players on the perimeter and 2 players in the post.

The perimeter players should be one player at the top of the key and one player on each wing. The post players should be slightly above the low blocks. As a general rule, the spacing between players should be about 12 feet.

All of these positions are interchangeable depending on your personnel, any mismatches that occur during the game, and the certains actions you want to include in the offense.

Getting Started

It’s hard to outline step-by-step progressions of what to teach for this offense because the foundation is simple: get the ball into the post player.

Every pass made on the perimeter is going to me caught in triple threat to square up to the goal to see the rim and the defense. The main read you’re trying to make is if you can enter the ball to your post player.

With this in mind, we’re going to break down some passes and dribble penetration moves you can make within this offense that ends with the post player having the ball in their hands.

3-Out 2-In Motion Offense Actions

Passing

Top to Wing Pass

After the top player passes to the wing they have two options:

  • Cut through the key and fill weak side wing position
    • As top player cuts, weak side wing player fill open spot at top of the key
  • Away screen for the opposite wing
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weak side wing uses screen to cut to top of the key and screen fills weak side wing​​​​​​​

Wing to Top Pass

After this pass is made, there are two main passing options that may follow:

  • Top player reverses the ball with a pass to the opposite wing
    • Reversing the ball is good because it forces the defense to shift and it gives a number of different reads for the offense. The wing player could attack off the dribble, be open for a jump shot, pass to the high post, or pass into the low post.
  • Top player sees an opening in the lane and passes to the high post
    • The ball in the middle of the court gives many scoring options: short jump shot for the post player, kick-out to shooters on the perimeter, pass to a wing player back cutting, or use their dribble to attack and finish at the rim. When the ball goes into the high post, the ball side wing should cut immediately and look to receive a pass.

Wing to Wing Pass

This is a difficult pass to make because it’s a cross-court pass, but it does happen and can be very beneficial to your offense.

When this pass happens, the top player will go down screen for the passer and they essentially replace each other.

As the opposite wing catches the skip pass, they have options:

  • Catch and attack off the dribble
    • With the defense having to recover with the skip pass, attacking on the catch will put them on their heels. The ball side post player must be watching to make sure they get out of the way but also get into a position for a possible dump pass if their defender helps.
  • Pass to high post and cut
    • If there’s not an open shot or lane to attack, the high post could be open. When they pass to the high post, be sure to cut and look for the ball.
  • Pass to low post
    • This is your other option if the other options are guarded. Let your post players work together to get position in the low post then pass the ball into the post.

Wing to Low Post Pass

Once the ball is in the low post, the wing has options:

  • Screen away for the top player
    • After passing, the wing player immediately goes to screen for the top player who cuts over for a shot opportunity and to fill the open position on the wing.
  • Cut along the baseline
    • After passing, the wing player can cut baseline and look to receive a short dump pass for a lay-up. If they don’t receive the ball they fill the opposite wing as the perimeter player would have filled the open spots as the cutting occured. The weak side post player would flash to the weak side high post to give the other post player plenty of space to go to work.

Wing to High Post Pass

There is only one option for the wing after making a pass to the high post and that is to cut to the basket. They can look for the ball in case the passing lane is open for a pass back, but if not the wing player will continue through to the other side. The other perimeter players will rotate and fill the open spots.

Dribble Penetration

From the Top of the Key

Before your top player takes off dribbling from the top, they need to check at the position of the two post defenders. If there is a post player in the high post, the top player should not drive in that direction.

If both post players are on the low blocks, the post player on ball side of the dribble penetration must clear out and move to the short corner where they can be available for a short pass and shot if their player helps on defense. The weak side low post player should read their defender as well and find a passing angle for a dump pass if their defender helps.

The two wing perimeter players should be relocating to find a passing angle for a kick out pass - they can move anywhere from the wing to the corner.

From the Wing to the Middle

When your wing player drives towards the middle of the key, the ball side post player should drop down and be ready for a dump pass while the weak side post player should be in the high post area for spacing. If their defender helps, they can dive to the rim for a pass.

The weak side wing perimeter player should read the defense and try to relocate to find an opening for a kick out pass. The can move anywhere from the wing to the corner.

Both of your perimeter players should be relocating to find a passing angle for a kick out pass if either of their defenders help stop the ball. The weak side wing can move anywhere from the wing to the corner, but the top of the key player doesn’t have as much space to work with as they should not move lower than free throw line extended.

From the Wing to the Baseline

When your wing player drives baseline, the ball side player on the low block should slide up to the high post to give the wing player enough driving space. If their defender helps, the high post player will be ready for a pass to shoot a jump shot at the elbow.

The weak side post player should step into the middle of the paint and be ready for a dump pass if their defender helps stop the ball.

The weak side wing player should slide to the corner and be ready for a pass on a kick out while the top perimeter player should also be moving to create a passing angle. However, the top player should not move lower than free throw line extended.

3-Out 2-In Motion Offense Plays

At times in a game, you’ll need a set play to run before you get into your motion offense. The set play will feature actions you’ll use in motion, but these comes with a more defined way that you’ll do the same thing every time when you run this set play.

There are a number of set plays out there for you to use depending on what you’re wanting to get out of it, but here are a few examples of a set plays with the 3-Out 2-In set.

If you don’t score with the set play, get into you 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense.

POWER

 

Actions for POWER:

  1. Top Player passes to the right Wing Player
  2. As that happens, there’s an interchange with the Top Player and weak side Post Player. This puts your post player at the top and your Top Player on the weak side block.
  3. The right Wing Player reverses the ball back to the Post Player at the top of the key.
  4. On the ball reversal, the opposite Wing Player will set a down screen for the Top Player.
  5. The Post Player at the top will reverse the ball to the Top Guard on the wing.
  6. Wing Player at the ball side block will go set a cross screen for the Post Player on the opposite block.
  7. Then the Post Player at the top of the key will set a down screen for the Wing Player to come off for an open shot.

Scoring Options:

  • Top Player coming off a down screen may have an open shot on the wing
  • Post Player coming off cross screen may be able to get position on the low block
  • Wing Player coming off down screen may have an open shot at the top of the key
  • Post Player setting down screen may be able to slip for a open shot at the elbow

1 ENTRY (Strong Side)

Actions for 1 ENTRY (Strong Side):

  1. Post Players set down screens for Wing Players to pop out to Wing Spots
  2. Top Player passes to right Wing Player and cuts through to ball side corner
  3. Opposite Post Player cuts to the top of the key for a pass from the wing
  4. Opposite Post Player then reverses the ball to the opposite Wing Player
  5. Low Post Player follows the ball as it is reversed
  6. Other Post Player and wing go set a stagger screen for Top Player in corner to come off for a shot

Scoring Options:

  • Wings Players on the initial down screens could be open for a shot
  • Low Block Post Player may be able to get position on the low blocks as ball is reversed
  • Top Player coming off a stagger screen may be open for a shot

1 ENTRY (Goes Away)

Actions for 1 ENTRY (Goes Away):

  1. Post Players set down screens for Wing Players to pop out to Wing Spots
  2. Top Player passes to right Wing Player and cuts through to opposite corner
  3. Opposite Post Player cuts to the top of the key for a pass from the wing
  4. Opposite Post Player then reverses the ball to the opposite Wing Player
  5. Low Post Player follows the ball as it is reversed to the other block
  6. Wing Player passes to Top Player in the corner
  7. Top Post Player goes and sets away screen for the opposte Wing who cuts to the top
  8. Ball side Post Player steps out to set a back screen for ball side Wing Player
  9. Ball side Post Player then sets a ball screen for Top Player in the corner

Scoring Options:

  • Wings Players on the initial down screens could be open for a shot
  • Low Block Post Player may be able to get position on the low blocks as ball is reversed
  • Wing Player may be open coming off the back screen
  • Top Player may be able to come off ball screen for a jump shot or attack the rim
  • Post Player setting ball screen may be open by rolling or slipping to short corner

More 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense Plays

Here are a few more ideas for set plays to use before getting into your 3-Out 2-In Offense!

SHOCKER

Actions for SHOCKER:

  1. 4 and 5 down screen for 2 and 3. 2 and 3 pop to the wings.
  2. 1 passes to 2 and basket cuts.
  3. As 1 is cutting, 4 pops to the top of the key and receives a pass from 2.
  4. As this pass is happening, 1 is coming off screens from 5 and 3 and fills weak side wing.
  5. 4 reverses the ball to 1 on the wing.
  6. 3 then sets a cross screen for 5.
  7. 4 then sets a down screen for 3.

Scoring Options:

  • Player 1 off the basket cut may have an open lay-up in the lane
  • Player 1 off the screens may have an open shot on the wing
  • Player 5 off the cross screen may be open able to get position on the low block
  • Player 3 off the down screen may have an open shot at the top of the key

DUKE FLOPPY THROUGH

Actions for DUKE FLOPPY THROUGH:

  1. 2 v-cuts to get open on the wing.
  2. 1 passes to 2 and cuts through the middle of the lane.
  3. 3 cuts to the top of the key and replaces 1. 2 passes to 3.
  4. 1 then has options to come off either the single screen from 5 on the opposte low block or a double screen from 4 and 2.
  5. 2 fills the opposite corner of 1.
  6. After screening, 4 and 5 post up on the low blocks.

Scoring Options:

  • Player 1 off the basket cut may have an open lay-up in the lane
  • Player 1 off the single or double screens may have an open shot on the wings
  • Player 4 or 5 may be open able to get position on the low block

JAYHAWK

Actions for JAYHAWK:

  1. 1 passes to 2 and cuts to ball side corner as 5 cuts up to the top of the key.
  2. 2 passes to 5 and cuts hard to the opposte low block.
  3. After the cut, 1 slides up the wing and receives the pass from 5.
  4. After the pass, 5 and 3 go set a stagger screen for 2.

Scoring Options:

  • Player 2 off the stagger screen may be open for a shot at the elbow or top of the key

Teaching the 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense

When your spending time practicing this offense start by splitting up the post player and perimeter players into separate groups. You want each group to understand what sort of reads to make by reading the defense and learn how to work together.

With a coach holding the ball on the wing, you can create 2-on-2 situations for your post player while your perimeter players can go 3-on-3 (without a coach).

Be sure to emphasize: spacing and movement. Do not let your players get use to stopping and watching.

Once you feel like your separate groups have a strong understanding of the offense start putting it all together with these drills:

  • 5 on 2 with defense only on the post - and only post players can score.
  • 5 on 3 with defense only on the perimeter - and only perimeter players can score.
  • 5 on 4 with Coach dictating different situations such as: a certain number of passes be made before shooting, no dribbling, or only a certain player can score (only offense knows the designated scorer).

These are all great ways to practice and emphasize what needs to be done for this offense to run smoothly and be successful.

Learn More

You should now have a solid foundation for the pieces you need to make the 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense your go-to game plan. As your team spends more time with the offense they will develop a basketball IQ and continue to solidify the base offense you have implemented.

If you want to learn even more about the 3-Out 2-In Motion Offense check out HoopsKing.com for DVDs you can download or rent.