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Notice the big man in “Spain.” Against a zone, the defense moves so he doesn’t need to! Quick passing gets the defense out of shape.
Notice the 1 finishes left-handed, but the 3, and 5 man are right handed players. Notice that they are attacking, in tandem(triangle), the left side of the lane.
Notice that 2 and 4 man work, in tandem, the weak side – the right side.
Imagine the “back pick” at the elbow against both man-to-man and zone defenses.
Several principles need to be used in order to obtain the best results against any zone defense and they are;
- attack the seams/gaps
- dribble and pass penetration
- move the zone/distort the zone
- screen the zone
- skip pass and reversals/cross splitline
- dribble one way, pass the other
- your allignment
If the zone defense is a 2 – 3 setup then your allignment must be 3 out 2.
This is often called “odd guard front”.
Your baseline players must be “deep” at least at the level of the backboard.
Offensive Law #1: “Never feed the post from above the free throw line.”
This is one of the biggest mistakes inexperienced guards make and leads to poor post position, or even worse – turning the ball over.
Guards must learn to use their dribble to move towards the baseline and improve their passing angle.
This will allow your post players to maintain their position on the low block and catch the ball within their scoring range.
Offensive Law #2: “If your man leaves you to double team the ball, cut to the front of the rim.”
This player will be wide open. Make sure he keeps his hands hands up and stays ready to receive a pass. When he catches the ball in the lane, he MUST keep in mind Law #3…
Offensive Law #3: “In traffic, post players need to go up strong with two hands.”
Don’t tolerate dipsy-doo layups or fancy finger-rolls.
Your “big guys” need to gather themselves with a short power dribble, use an up-fake to get the defense off balance, then explode up to the backboard using two hands.
This will give them the balance and concentration to convert the layup, and prevent their shot from being blocked.
Offensive Law #4: “Do NOT leave the ground unless you are shooting.”
I’m sure you’ve seen this one happen before.
Player streaks down the lane… elevates… does something fancy with the ball …then throws it out of bounds or travels.
This is a low percentage play that may look spectacular on the rare occasions that it works… but can’t be a part of your team’s offensive strategy.
There are 3 major options when a player penetrates into the lane.
1. Get all the way to the basket for a layup or foul
2. Two foot jumpstop and pull-up jumper
3. Two foot jumpstop and a dish to a teammate
Drive these concepts home with your players and make it clear that “elevating and deciding in the air” is not acceptable in your offensive scheme.
Offensive Law #5: “Always wait until your screener is set before making the cut”
For a screen to be effective, your players need to wait until the screener is set, use misdirection to get your defender leaning the opposite way, THEN run off the screen shoulder to shoulder. This will get your players wide open off the screen, and avoid unnecessary offensive fouls from moving picks.