Let's face it, getting dunked on, whether it's directly on top of someone, or just the result of a lapse in defense, is deflating on D—and a huge morale booster for your offense. And while most of us at some point or another end up coaching a couple guys who can throw it down, you have to count yourself lucky if you have the type of player on your team who can get dunks in the lane on a regular basis.
But if you've got a player with the size to put it down, running a play for a backdoor lob on the first play of the game is a great way to set the tone—even if it doesn't go down, the defense will be wary of it happening again and might start to over-commit to backdoor cuts, leading to open shots out on the perimeter.
Or, if you have a "big" with soft hands and good body control, you can still run this lob play for a "below the rim" finish. Not as exciting, but two easy points is still two easy points!
This play will work at its absolute best in a secondary break, semi-transition set, where you might not have a numbers advantage, but the defense still hasn't had time to get completely set.
You'll need to have your shooting guard on the right wing, your small forward on the left wing, your power forward on the right block, and your point guard up top with your center trailing behind the play on his left side.
We say center here, but this play will work best if the big man has a respectable outside shot, as it will force his man to come outside of the key to defend.
To initiate the play, the point will swing the ball to the center, who will then pass it on to the small forward on the left wing. As this is happening, the shooting guard will flash across to the free throw line, as if looking to receive a pass, and the power forward will slide over to the left block. The center will misdirect his man, faking left, while the shooting guard pops out to set a back screen on the center's man, who will make the backdoor cut, looking for a lob at the rim from the 3 man.
Even if you don't have anyone on your team with the ability to throw down an alley oop, this play can still be very effective if the center comes down with the ball, keeps it high, and goes right back up before the defense can collapse.
It's a good idea to take some time to practice the lob pass, as it can be tough to perfect. The objective is for the ball to his just about the bottom of the backboard, just inside of the low corner—with enough loft underneath it to make it easy to catch on the run.