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The 5 - Out Offence

By Aaron Callaghan 

As a point of interest I’m going to be delving into NBA 2K Offences, how and why Pro-Am games are won and lost. Thomas Lynch (@ThomasLynch) and myself started this process by breaking down @Spacejamesports Pro-Am play, looking at how and why they are so great. You can see these videos on Thomas’s YouTube channel.



As I write this NBA 2K Pro-Am is experiencing excellent growth and maturation of the game play, however it’s not quite there yet. With the NBA 2K League beginning play in early 2018, the Pro-Am game is going to experience massive changes through emulation of the pro game, the real interesting developments are going to be directly on court with offences and defences are going to become highly sophisticated.

This opinion piece on The Green Release’s Basketball Blog will look at the Pro-Am offence, affectionately known as the ‘5-out’, perhaps one of the most polarising play styles or gameplay options on NBA 2K. The basic principles of the 5-out offence are as follows

  • Five shooters on the floor. Spaced out to open up the paint.
  • The primary ball handler should be able to shoot at a reasonable but more importantly break defenders down off the dribble (read: Blow by).
  • The baseline corner players cutting if their defender is ball watching. The corner man must be ready to knock down shots when their defender helps on the blow by at the top of the key.

To say the 5-out offence is polarising in the NBA 2K community is an understatement, some players consider it a viable offence to utilise their players in the best possible system, for example good shooters surrounding a tall, ball handling play-maker with great dribble moves. The opposite opinion is that the 5-out is exploiting gameplay through momentum dribbles, blow by animations and ‘overpowered’ archetype builds.

In breaking down the 5-out offence and how to stop it, I’ve identified a few key pieces of information for the scouting report and I’ll show them below.

As we can see here the tall ball handler has all the space to work with and goes for the blow by animation, it’s important to be moving your feet and bump the offensive player on the dribble drive. This is not a time to gamble on steals. Note below the corner defenders are hedging across on to help leaving the corner man open.

The famed, yet dreaded snatch back dribble, divisive among NBA 2K players in terms of its use and frequency of use on the court. I posed the question to the community, “how do you stop/guard the snatch back?” I received some great answers and the overwhelming consensus appears to be;

  • Tread lightly with defence assist (L2 on PS4). Use your sticks to stay in front of the ball handler.
  • When the animation jumps the ball handler backwards to create the space, quickly press the steal button in an attempt to launch your player forward at the ball handler and close the space.

@Wh1teChocolate with the snatch back, note the space created from the snatch back dribble move.

Pretty simple in theory, use the sticks and steal animation. The thing that makes Pro-Am so enjoyable to play and view is the high variance in the multitudes of different archetype builds available to players which is where the ‘six foot ten inch play maker archetype’ really shines in the 5-out, the build gives the play making ability, speed, handling and most importantly size.

Initiating the dribble drive whilst running the 5-out, if the primary ball handler can draw in the help defender after the blow by, it leaves a wide open corner three which are almost automatic even for non-shooting archetypes. The ball handling ability at the players noticeable size makes it a tough proposition for most guards and small forwards, sometimes throwing a specialised lockdown or two-way shooting guard with size is the way to shut down this offence and force the opposing team into some secondary sets.

The five out offence whilst can certainly be contained and even shut down, it remains a viable option for teams with certain roster pieces and fit. The onus is on the defence's best defender to lock down the opposing teams primary ball handler and force some secondary action, without leaving shooters open, force the other players to beat you.