Deep Corner Inbound Play: Curl Elevator by Adam Spinella
Often times coaches overlook a difficult situation for an inbound play: when the ball goes out of bounds and is in the deep corner. The sideline is tight to the ball, so most baseline inbounds plays are not going to work; vice versa with the sideline plays. Since the regular playbook plays usually don’t work, the higher-level teams will put in a special play for this type of situation.
I found myself in this situation in a game this year, where there were 9 seconds left in the game and my team was inbounding on the baseline deep in the corner. None of our playbook plays would have gotten anyone open – I wished I had a designed play for this specific type of situation that I could get in without calling a time out.
Two NBA coaches, Randy Wittman and Steve Kerr, have run this play in a deep inbound situation in the past calendar year. Wittman ran it from the sideline and Kerr from the baseline, showing its versatility no matter where the ball is inbounded from.
3 takes the ball in, while the four players on the court line up in a tight line set around the elbow. The shooter is 2 (for the Wizards it was Bradley Beal and for the Warriors it was Klay Thompson) and he is the closest to the ball of the two guards. 4 and 5 stay stationary, while 2 curls looking to loop to the rim. After he leaves, 1 curls as well, looking for the pass. As 2 has curled and gotten into the lane, 4 and 5 will open up and let 2 come through an elevator action. As he comes through the diagonal elevator-type action, 4 and 5 will close behind him, and 2 should be open for a catch-and-shoot three.
This video shows both the Wizards and Warriors running the action. They’ll adjust the starting spot based on the place of the inbounds, but the concept is the same: make the help defense protect the rim, and the ball-side win will be wide open for an inbound three.
Coach Adam Spinella is entering his first season as an Assistant Coach at Culver Acadelinmies in Culver, IN. Spinella spent the three years prior as a Student Assistant Coach at Division III Dickinson College. The Dickinson Men’s Team advanced to two NCAA Tournaments and accumulated an overall record of 59-26 (.694) during the three-year span, with the 2013-2014 season ending in the Division III Elite Eight. A native of Bow, New Hampshire, Spinella has a keen interest in X’s and O’s, particularly in professional basketball, and skill development.
Click on the pdf link to download the inbound play: