March 20, 2011 • Basketball

Continuous Offense: Secondary Fastbreaks Part V

Transition Into a Half-Court Zone Offense (Part V)

Much has been written on how our basketball coaches use their primary and secondary fastbreaks to attack the various phases of transition defenses.

The basic fact that emerges from all these concepts is that as strong as all your offensive options may be, they are not going to do much scoring in their transition stage, and that it becomes essential to organize a complete package of fundamentally sound movements from a half-court, odd-front plan of offense.

Diag. 1: Even though the ball can be pushed to either deep corner (3 or 2), for the sake of discussion we will always have our secondary fastbreak go to the right side.

Basketball Play
Diag. 1

See the animated play here

As shown in the diagram, the first trailer (4) sprints the floor and then angles off to the weakside area before diagonally slashing to the first notch above the ballside block area.

#1, the dribbler, fills in the backside wing area, while 3 fills in the offside wing area.

The second trailer (5) runs the floor, then settles into the area just outside the three-point line at the top of the key.

#1’s progression: He looks first to hit 2 or 3 for a layup, then looks for 4 slash-cutting across the lane, or to 2 flaring out to the new ballside deep corner.

#2 may have a better passing angle for the inside pass to 4, an open jump shot from the deep corner, a potential skip pass to 5 or 3, or a reverse pass to 5.

Diag. 2: If the offense is facing a zone defense, the ball can be reversed by 2, 1, 5, and on to 3 (as most secondary fastbreaks do).

#5, upon receiving the ball at the top of the key, looks for a three-point shot over the smaller defenders at the top of the zone defense.

#4 ducks into the lane to look for the pass from 5. If open, he should have a good shot in the high-percentage area. If 4 is not open, 5 may swing the ball to 3 and immediately read how the defense reacts-which zone defender slides up or over to defense 3. If the 5 to 3 pass is covered by one of the zone wings (G1), 5 should follow his pass to set a screen for 3.

As 5 sets the ball screen, 4 drops back to his original low post area while 2 remains in his original deep corner.

#3 should use 5’s screen to attack the middle of the zone defense-where there is no wing defender or just G2 to stop the penetration. #4 ducks in again to the center of the lane to look for the ball. He will most likely be defended by 5.

After setting the ball-screen, 5 rolls down the lane line and tries to stay on the inside in front of the zone’s backline defender from where he can become a viable pass receiver and scoring threat.

Diag. 2

See the animated play here

Diag. 3: On the middle penetration, 3 can look for an inside pass to 5 or 4, or to create his own shot either in the lane or on the perimeter.

If G2 rotates over to stop the penetration, the inside passes could still be available as well as the penetration that will get 1 open on the perimeter.

The defense may be forced to rotate a backline zone defender (F4) up to help discourage 1 from getting wide-open three-point shots. If that defensive rotation occurs, the offense can counter with an extra pass to 2 down in the corner for another three-point shot opportunity. As you can see, there is no one left in the zone defense to rotate out to defense 2.

#2 can also make an inside pass to 4 in the new ballside low post block area.

If no shots are created, the offense may immediately initiate a zone continuity as the secondary break is concluded.

Diag. 3

See the animated play here

Diag. 4: If, after 5 makes the swing pass to 3 and the defense adjusts by rotating a backline defender (F3) up to stop the three-point shot on the weakside wing after ball reversal, the offense can counter with the following option:

Both 1 and 2 look to pass inside to 4. If no shots develop, 1 can again reverse the ball to 5 at the top of the key (as shown in Diag. 2) and 4 can again duck in for the inside pass from 5.

Diag. 4

See the animated play here

Diag. 5: If 5 swings the ball to 3, then 5 and 2 will read to see which defender steps out to stop the three-point shot by 3.

If the defender rotates out from his typical backline coverage area, that are will become weaker and must be attacked.

If 5 does not set a ball-screen for 3, he will cut down the lane and try to get inside position on the backline defender the original ballside (F4).

Diag. 5

See the animated play here

Diag. 6: #3 has a possible three-point shot on an inside pass to either 4 on the block or 2 in the short corner area. If nothing is created by the cuts of 4 or 2, #3 can elect to pull dribble toward the middle of the area.

As this takes place, 4 ducks into the lane will either be open or pull C5 with him. #3’s pull dribble should draw the original defender with him as he approaches the opposite wing defender.

This will put two defenders on the ball and thus free up an offensive player somewhere within the framework of the offense. #1 could possibly be open for a three-point shot while 2 can “cut and replace” the dribbler by cutting up to the free-throw line extended.

If 3 has drawn that wing defender with him on his dribble toward the middle, 2 should be open in that vacated wing area.

If the defense counters the “cut and replace” action by pulling the backline defender (F3) up to stop 2 on the wing, 5 may also “cut and replace” by slipping behind what it left of the zone backline and swinging to the short corner area (that 2 just vacated).

#3 has various options: to 1 for a possible three-point shot, to 4 on a duck-in cut, to 2 on a throw-back pass for a possible three-point shot, or a skip pass to 5 in the short corner area.

If no shots are created by the counter action of the offense, the offense will have its two post players in the low-post area and short-corner areas-the areas in which they probably will be most effective.

Diag. 6

See the animated play here

Diags. 7-8: #1, 2, and 3 will end up at the two wing areas and the point area-their choice areas.

Diag. 7

See the animated play here

Diag. 8

See the animated play here

From these locations, the offense can capitalize on the immediate transition from the fast break action right into a fundamentally sound zone attack.

Opponents who want to execute zone defense will first have to stop the organized waves of attack by the offense. If the defense is fortunate enough to achieve this difficult task, it will have to face other problems posed by the defense of the two options just discussed.

This offensive style of play could force an unwilling opponent to abandon or change its half-court defensive game plan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *