Piston Elevator – Man to Man Play

Piston Elevator - Man to Man Play

Exclusive Bonus: To download the “Piston Elevator” play as a PDF for free to take to your practices, click here.

Overview of the Play

This is a great play for getting a quick three-point shot. The two guards will look like they’re exchanging wings but your best shooter will quickly cut to the top of the key off an elevator screen for the three-point shot.

Key Personnel:

  • A great shooter on the wing who will run the baseline cut.


Setup: The play begins in a 1-4 high formation.

Piston Elevator - Man to Man Play

1. The play starts with 1 dribbling towards one side of the court.

2. 3 Iverson cuts off the screens set by 4 and 5 on the elbows while 2 baseline cuts to the middle of the key.

3. Immediately after setting the screens on the elbows, 4 and 5 set a elevator screen for 2.

4. 2 shoots through the screens to the top of the key for the catch and shoot three-pointer.

Coaching Points:

  • The player who 1 dribbles at will always go over top of the screens. Therefore, 1 must make sure they don’t dribble towards the better shooter.
  • There should be no slowing down by 2 in the key. They must make a quick change of direction and burst through the elevator screen. For this reason, 2 should wait an extra second before starting their baseline cut.
  • 4 and 5 must ‘close the gate’ after 2 has cut through to screen 2’s defender. That’s why it’s important for 2 to quickly change direction and create separation so that the post players have time to step closer.
  • If 4’s defender predicts the pass and cuts it off, 4 should dive to the hoop for the layup.