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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Basketball: Building an Offense, "You Can't Use Everything"

"It's the scoreboard, not the scorebook." I want to copyright that. Find players who believe it. But put players in the position to least two ballhandlers, two dominant rebounders, three scorers, a shutdown defender inside and outside. But they still need 'lines on the paper'.  

Half court offense assumes more importance against quality teams who limit transition and top teams in the post-season. Bad teams play bad transition. We can multiply our 'looks' by using multiple formations and multiple core actions. Just as Bill Belichick broke down the Redskins offense into three core running plays and ten core passes. 

Mind the gaps. For example, we can use spread or horns sets and vary the alignment of the latter into 1-4 high, 1-4 low, and in-between.  

First possession...the opposing coach calls spread, 50, five-oh, empty, wide, open. We've all heard it. We know the opponents open the middle for drivers and cutters. "It's not rocket science." But our players need to see the possibilities. It's what they know that matters. 

For example, from a spread set (above) with wing entry, we can give-and-go, screen away either high or low, and run a back cut with the corner. We could run the corner through and isolate for the wing...and on and on. 

From horns, we have a myriad of actions from high ball screens, to Flex, downscreens, and staggered screens. 

The Celtics use a three-man game from horns (above) with an exceptional passer (Horford) at the 5. Or they can exchange the 3 and 1, getting Kyrie Irving a handoff pick-and-roll. 

What's our intent? Regardless of our sets or movements, we need players who separate, attack, and finish. If we're going to run back cuts from the corner, then we need players who can finish from the corner. Practice intentionally

Add core elements. Teach 1 on 1 and 2 on 2 (give-and-go reference here

Challenge defenses with off-ball screens. Getting screened all the time gets old fast. 

"Movement kills defense." Isolate your most capable one-on-one players. We preach one dribble attack and score, with the goal of training players to score off one dribble from the spacing line (three-point line) by the time they reach high school. It doesn't always happen. It's hard for our small guards. Get past hard

Use simple and complex screening actions to separate and find your finishers. 

Dribble handoffs can be simple or complex

Young players struggle to defend the second ball screen off the Dribble handoff (DHO)

Fake the DHO with a slip or create a cross-screen and mismatch off the switch. 

Ultimately, only imagination, practice time, and player basketball IQ limit us. 

Good actions from Chris Oliver, transforming a zipper cut into something special. 

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