Basketball, like any sport, is a game of X and O’s. A great coach can separate a great team from a good team.
Outstanding coaches know how to maximize their talent by instating an offensive system that best suits the needs of their team.
Spread the Defense
If your team heavily relies on the talent and scoring of your guards, spreading out the defense is the first key to creating a better basketball offense.
Guards are generally fast and agile. Utilize that blessing, by allowing your guards space to operate. A 4-1 set, as it is commonly referred to in basketball circles, involves a formation of four guards, or swingmen, rotating and remaining positioned around the three point line.
The fifth player (usually the center) continues to play inside the paint and high post. The 4-1 offensive set is ideal for allowing your guards ability to penetrate and attack the hoop from the perimeter.
If the opposing team is playing man-to-man defense, your guards stand a good chance of beating that opposing defender off the dribble and earning an easy bucket. A 4-1 offensive set allows a lot of wide open space inside the paint, as your center will be the only player down low occupying it.
If your guard does beat the opposing defender off the dribble, the defense suddenly has two quick options. Either another teammate needs to leave his man and help out the attacking dribbler or stick with his assignment and allow the attacking guard an easy lay-up.
Generally a three point shot is harder to make than a layup, so the opposing defense will drop back a defender or two to help out the attacking offensive player. This is where you can nail the defense with outstanding shooters.
When the defender leaves his man to help out, it ultimately leaves the offensive player open. A great point guard will realize this and kick the ball back out to the wide open offensive player.
The 4-1 offensive set is outstanding to run if your team can attack the basket well with great guards and other perimeter plays can spot up for the easy long range shots. Defenses usually have no answer for this offensive if ran to perfection, as they cannot defend the penetration and long range shooting at the same time.
A better basketball offense begins and ends with the zone. Some defenses will switch to a zone if they are having trouble defending the offense man-to-man. The difference between zone and man-to-man defense is the defensive players are assigned zones or areas of the court they must defend.
Zone defenses can fluster and make an offense out of sink. However, zone offenses can easily be exploited with the right offensive mindset.
Spreading out the defense and gaining the appropriate offensive separation is vital for an effective zone offense. An entire half-court is difficult to cover for just five defensive players, which means a zone is destine to open up.
The right offensive separation is the only way to ensure these zones will open up. A big no-no is allowing two offensive players to stand in one defensive player’s zone. This is easy for the defense as now one player can guard two offensive players.
Separation is a must. Make sure each offensive player is no closer than ten feet away from the other at any given moment.
The next key to beating a zone is penetrating and passing. This is even more important when playing against a zone. When your guards have an opportunity to attack the hoop, make sure they do it. Penetration sucks in a zone, and enables shooters to become wide open on the perimeter. Force your guards to attack the hoop and pass the ball back out to the open teammate.