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Friday, July 27, 2018

Basketball: What's Your Offensive Palette?

We have a palette, a basketball primer and vocabulary to be shared with players and teams. 

Build an offensive and defensive palette according to your philosophy, personnel, and situation. For youth (middle schoolers), the palette isn't so much a playbook as a learning platform.   

Established coaches have well-defined palettes and apprentices evolving ones. Hans Zimmer shares that he creates a different palette for each film. He 'sees' the world through notes and sounds, much like August Rush did in the eponymous movie. 

Postulate 1. Make it as simple as possible and layer upon simplicity. It's better to have fewer actions with multiple options than encyclopedic actions. We certainly do not use all these actions. I am not discussing "motion offense" or "zone offense" in this post. 

Postulate 2. Refine, refine, refine. It's okay to teach to the test. 

Postulate 3. Don't ask players to do what they can't do. 

Building the Platform

1. Isolation. "Every player is king" may not apply. Put players in a position to succeed. 

2. Two-Man Game. The two-man game includes pick-and-roll, give-and-go, and inside-outside actions. We learned this at the playground or in the driveway. It's a different world. 

3. 3-on-3 inside the Split. I've introduced 3-on-3 play here. Choose your poison. 

Easy. Pick-and-roll with possible pass to corner.

Harder. Pass and screen the corner. The Bucks liked to run this for Giannis. 

DHO with diagonal screen from opposite post. 

4. Backdoor/Back cut. Tight defense favors screens and back cuts. Shuffle the deck and pick a card. 

LBJ series. Dribble at, backdoor. 

LBJ give and go from the corner.

Horns back door. 

Tufts women, 1-3-1 back door.

Added complexity: Triangle ball screen back door. 

5. Off-ball single screens.

Back screen away after post-entry (we call this Nurse, after Kia Nurse of UCONN)

Celtics 'triple'. After post entry (5, Horford), they will screen for Irving (1) or bring him off the handoff into a ball screen. 

Horns into Flex. 

Reverse action. 

6. Staggered screens

Horns into stagger.

Horns variant into stagger 3. 

Iverson cut (basic).

7. Screen-the-screener

BOB with STS in the paint

BOB (also good as a SLOB) with zipper-like action with the screener (3) becoming the cutter for a pass over the top.

Another look at the same action from a box set (elevator screen implied) 

8. Screen-the-roller. (Spain Pick-and-Roll).

We spend far more time on execution of 1 v 1, 2 v 2, and 3 v 3 actions than set plays. But establishing basic offensive concepts gives young players a good foundation for executing high school offense. They also learn to defend many of these actions as understanding offense allows for better defensive anticipation and reaction. 

Finally, we can develop "summary slides" for teaching. From a simple 'spread' (Spread, out, 50, Five-0 (Hawaii?) we can teach multiple actions. "Great offense is multiple actions" well-executed. 

Bon appetit. 

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