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What Is a Press Break In Basketball?

What Is a Press Break?

When running a press break in basketball, the aim is to break through the defense and get the ball up the court as quickly as possible. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most common is to have two players flanked by one or two defenders on each side.

The player with the ball will dribble toward one of the flanking defenders while the other player(s) cut to the basket or open space. If done correctly, this should create a lane for the dribbler to drive through and hopefully result in an easy basket.


This Can Lead To Easy Scoring Opportunities: If the offense can break the press, they will have more space to work with and will be able to get open shots.

Help Create Turnovers: If the defense is pressing, they are more likely to make mistakes, leading to turnovers.

Slow Down The Game’s Pace: If the offense can break the press, they can control the game’s tempo and slow down the pace. This can be beneficial if the offense is trying to run a specific play or if they are trying to stall the clock.


Can Give Up Easy Baskets: If your opponents are able to break the press and get behind your defense, they will have an easy path to the basket for an easy layup or dunk.

Can Be Very Tiring For Your Players: They must repeatedly sprint up and down the court to stay with their opponents. This can lead to fatigue and poor decision-making late in the game when it matters most.

Difficult To Execute If You Don’t Have Athletic Players: This can leave your team vulnerable on both ends of the court.

Executing a Press Break

Have Your Players In The Right Positions: The point guard should be at the front of the break, with the shooting guard and small forward behind him. The big men should be at the back, ready to grab any long rebounds that may occur.

Your Players Must Constantly Be Moving: They should never stand still, as this will make it easier for the defense to trap them. Instead, they should always be in motion, making it difficult for the defense to keep track of them.

Keeping Your Cool: You can’t let the defense get under your skin and force you into making mistakes. Remember, the goal is to get the ball up the court quickly and efficiently, so stay calm and focus on making the right moves.


To summarize, a press break is any basketball play designed to get the ball out of an opponent’s trapping defense. By running a press break, your team can avoid being held captive in their own half and keep the game moving.

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