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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Where Is Your Basketball Offense Arising?

"The job of the writer is not to supply the ideas. It is to find the ideas." - Malcolm Gladwell

Basketball offense doesn't grow on trees. As Pasteur reminds us, "chance favors the prepared mind." tracks frequency of these actions and results, measuring them by points and points per possessionDo well what you do a lotDo more of what works and less of what doesn't.

It's not rocket science. The rocket scientist in my family is on the right.

UCONN under Geno Auriemma plans to score a third in transition, a third on threes, and a third on set plays. Do we have a plan for our offense. 

Our middle school girls lack the experience to score via freelance consistently. Sets give us a fighting chance. In the postseason a few years ago, we faced one of the tallest teams we'd ever played. 

We ran this action five consecutive plays and scored seven points (3 hoops and a free throw), 1.4 points per possession, far above our norm. The opposition took a time out and switched to zone defense. A heavy underdog, we won by three. 

We beat the top team in our league by a point this year; they couldn't handle our basic PnR out of a horns set...not rocket science. 

I'd call this play, "Swordfish" after the movie, where John Travolta emphasizes misdirection. The key is the sequential screens by 2, creating either a layup or usually a mismatch. GSW runs something similar out of a SLOB.

What elements belong in our offense? Have we examined their efficiency (e.g. points per possession)? I believe that in a developmental setting, we should teach offensive principles, starting (above) with "spread offense." Concepts, unpredictability, and execution should flow logically. 

Using full court man-to-man defense (later to teach run-and-jump), we seek to turn defense into offense with turnovers and transition. 

Half-court sets, a few quick hitters, and zone offense become secondary goals. Three point shooting will evolve as the girls become more physical and older. 

Base SLOB action. Zipper cut into ball screen. Second option, entry to 5 with one-on-one. Third option, entry to 3 with basket cut by inbounder. Fourth option, entry to 5 with back cut by 3. 

Specials (BOBs, SLOBs) get implementation with the goal of scoring at least three baskets per game and having "go to" actions either ATO or during 'crunch time'. But every action relies on players' ability to separate, finish, and make free throws. We have far to go before we can go far, but we have a plan. 

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