The Best 3v3 Basketball Plays

Three-on-three basketball is played from childhood all the way up to professional, and the best plays used in those games can prepare you for every level of competition. 

This is why CTG Hoops offers 3v3 camps 7 months out of a calendar year. It is one of, if not the best environment for player and team development! 

This fall, we will be hosting multiple 3v3 camps that combine games with dedicated skill development. Our curriculum will cover a variety of elements, so kids are constantly learning new skills and movements that can later help during game situations. These camps are so popular because they get everyone involved and are an efficient way to learn.

Check it out here:

Playing 3v3 basketball is intended to be a fast, fun, and competitive game that targets specific ways to improve. With fewer players on the floor, there is more space to operate. It develops a better understanding for playing with and without the basketball.

Part of learning the game comes from recognizing the different plays that can be used to score.

Below is a breakdown of the best plays from 3v3 basketball that translate to every level of competition, so if you are reading this, then you will be more prepared when attending our camps in the fall and later into the winter season!


#1 Backdoor or Dribble-Chase

Dribble Chase Backdoor Cut

The best counter to an overplaying defender is cutting backdoor to the basket. An often used indicator for when to cut behind the defense is after the ballhandler starts to dribble in your direction. This concept is known as a “dribble-chase,” and is a way to take advantage of any defender overplaying the passing lanes into a wide-open layup. 

#2 Off-Ball Screen Away

Screen Away

After making a pass, there are a couple of options going towards or away from the basketball. Setting a screen (a.k.a downscreen or pindown) away from the ball is a go-to option for getting another teammate open. Depending on what the defense does, there are some tips to remember to take advantage of the screening action. 

Tips To Remember:

  • Player Receiving Screen – Observe if the defender trails behind or separates to run through the passing lane. Based on the defender’s decision, the player receiving the screen should consider curling towards the basket or popping back to the perimeter.
  • Player Setting Screen – The screen should be a conflict for the defense. Sprint into a jump-stop to set the screen. As the screen occurs, there are some advanced decisions to be made here when reading the defense, but the number one rule is if the two defenders switch then basket cut (a.k.a slip) to the basket.  

#3 Off-Ball Flare Screen

Flare Screen

One of the hardest actions to guard is the flare screen. It is also, one of the toughest sequences of footwork to learn for an offensive player.

A flare screen occurs with a teammate usually furthest from the ball; setting a blind screen on a defender one pass away. This is a great concept to get a shooter open at the 3-point line and force the defense into a switch which can lead to slip scoring opportunities.

#4 Ball Screen or Blur Screens

Corner Ball Screen

Instead of looking to screen away from the ball, there are a couple of tactics to get directly involved with the ballhandler. Setting a ball screen is most effective when it gives the ballhandler separation to attack the basket or to create a preferred matchup. 

Tip To Remember:

  • If two defenders are on the ball, sprint to space by rolling to the basket or popping to the perimeter.

Again, depending on how the defense guards the ball screen there are options for the screener to get open for a potential shot opportunity. Popping to the perimeter is becoming very popular in basketball because of how many people like to shoot 3-point shots. The rise of using a “blur screen” is a way for shooters to confuse the defense. It’s accomplished by faking the ball screen and sprinting towards open space on the perimeter looking for a shot attempt beyond the arc.

#5 Give & Go Basket CutsGive-And-Go Basket Cut

The oldest trick in the book is the give-and-go, and it still works. If the defense doesn’t stay between the ball and the offensive player they are guarding, then after making a pass look to cut towards the basket. The give-and-go is a pass and pass right back that can lead to easy scoring opportunities.

There are a lot of advantages to 3v3 basketball, potentially one of the biggest is being able to practice these types of plays against a live defense. You can expect a similar experience with our 3v3 Fall Camps. Expect to go from practicing certain mechanics in a drill to later using them in competitive situations. It’s about creating in-game results, and with 3v3 basketball, everyone gets involved!


  • 3v3 basketball games are the best environment for player and team development!
  • Best 3v3 Basketball Plays:
    1. Backdoor or Dribble-Chase
    2. Screen Away
    3. Flare Screen
    4. Ball Screen or Blur Screen
    5. Give-And-Go
  • Register Today For One Of Our 3v3 Fall Camps