30 second time outs

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Combo Offense vs. a Man, Zone, or Matchup

We've been highlighting the 2-Guard Continuity that is, primarily, an offense used vs man-to-man defenses, and some specials run out of it. Now we've "tilted" the offense for use against a zone, leaving the *continuity* from position to position as the same. However we now use cuts and slides to put pressure on the zone, rather than setting and using screens to help get players open. This allows the offense to be as effective against all zone defenses and match-ups as it is against a man-to-man. I prefer a zone offense that relies on the principles of ball and player movement, getting into gaps, and penetration via the pass or the dribble. However, many match-up or very active zones make that a bit more difficult. When facing a match-up zone, one of the toughest things for the matchup to cover are multiple cuts which force decision making on who will defend what cut, and whether the cutter will be passed or "bumped" to another defender.

When run against a man-to-man offense, on a ball reversal the player at the block sets a flex-screen for the wing to cut to the opposite block. When facing a zone, that screen is not so effective, so you'll see we have the wing flash thru the "gut" of the zone (the area below the free-throw line but above the dotted circle) instead. This has become an interesting cut as it is a little unconventional and a difficult one for any zone to continue to cover. After the first ball reversal the only difference in the spots on the floor that are filled are the player who would be at the block will now end up in the "short-corner" and the 5-man will spend most of his time in the mid-post gap - instead of the high post elbow.

I've included the 2-3 zone defenders and who *might* cover the next pass. I suggest you play with it against a variety of zones, with different players responsible for the different cuts and slides. I think you'll see that someone - somewhere - will be difficult to cover. And THAT'S the player the offense needs to find!

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