Man-to-man Basketball Offense
Spacing, ball movement, player movement, cutting, screening, wise shot selection, team play, taking care of the ball, rebounding, and scoring are the key ingredients that make for a great basketball offense. Our Motion offense is a combination of everything that can be done on the basketball court with the main ideas and concepts taken from former Wisconsin Coach Dick Bennett. We signal this man-to-man basketball offense by raising our fist in the air.
Motion Offense: Blockers
Basketball Player Rules for the Motion Offense
We designate three players in our Motion offense as Blockers. Our three Blockers are the backbone of this basketball offense. Blockers must be tough, excellent screeners, and unselfish team players. Blockers are constantly looking to set screens for our two Movers. Blockers never screen for other Blockers. It is our Blockers responsibility to free our Movers so they can get open to create offense.
In our Motion offense we have two types of Blockers. One is a called a Free Blocker and the other is called a Lane-to-lane Blocker. Because we use three screeners in our system, we designate two of them as Free Blockers and one of them as the Lane-to-lane Blocker.
Free Blockers have the freedom to move all over the court. They are constantly looking to set screens on the perimeter for our two Movers (down screen, back screen, up screen, flare screen, stagger screen, double screen, and the dribble weave).
The only restriction we have for our Free Blockers is that they are not allowed to set ball screens. If one of our Movers has the ball, then our two Free Blockers would look to screen for the Mover without the ball. This is a great restriction in that it helps us to maintain floor balance and spacing.
After setting a screen for a Mover, the Free Blocker has two options. The first option the Blocker can use is what we call "screen and re-screen." Here the Blocker looks to give the Mover a quick second screen making it extremely tough for the opponent's defender to guard our Mover. The "screen and re-screen" actions are numerous (flare screen to down screen, back screen to down screen, or down screen to flare screen).
The second option is for our Free Blockers to become the "second cutter." After screening, the Free Blocker should remain in a stationary position for a two-count, giving the Mover and his defender an opportunity to clear the screen. After reading the defense, the Free Blocker can then either make a flash cut into the lane, pin and post, or pop-out and space behind the three point line looking for the open shot. More often than not the "second cutter" will be the player to become open. A good example of this was in 2001, when Kase Gonzales (one of my Free Blockers) made a whopping 129 three-point shots during the season.
Another great action we ask our Free Blockers to execute is the dribble-weave. Free Blockers are encouraged to initiate the dribble weave action with a Mover whenever possible on the perimeter. The dribble-weave is very hard to defend and creates some excellent dribble penetration opportunities for our Movers to exploit. After handing the ball off to a Mover, the Free Blocker can either roll to the basket, screen-in on the defense, or pop-out and space behind the three-point line.
The last action we like for our Free Blockers to make is the basket cut. After passing the ball, we like for the Free Blocker to make a hard cut all the way to the basket looking for the return pass. If he does not get the pass, we like him to clear out to the weak-side of the court and look for a new screening opportunity with one of our Movers.
When Free Blockers are not setting screens or making cuts, they must relocate to a spot behind the three-point line and stay 15' to 18' apart from their nearest teammate. This high and wide restriction keeps the middle from becoming too congested and clogged up.
Our Lane-to-lane Blocker is our single low post player. We want this Blocker to play in the low post area opposite the ball. This places him in an ideal location to cut to the basket and post up, to duck-in for the high-low pass from on top, to flash cut into the high post as a pressure releaser, to grab weak-side offensive rebounds, or to take advantage of draw-and-kick opportunities.
When the Lane-to-lane Blocker is on the ball-side, we want him to hold his posting position for a two count. If he does not receive the basketball in this time, he then must clear the ball-side low post and look to set a screen for one of our Movers. His screening options include the following:
1. The Lane-to-lane Blocker has the option to set a back-screen or up-screen for one of our Movers after he has passed the ball. After setting the back-screen or up-screen, our Blocker then rolls back to the ball looking for the next pass. This "screener back to the ball" action creates some great scoring opportunities for this Blocker.
2. The Lane-to-lane Blocker also has the option to step out to the perimeter and set ball-screens for one of our Movers. This creates several scoring opportunities for our Mover and our Blocker. Based on how the defense plays this action, the Lane-to-lane Blocker can either slip the ball-screen and dive to the basket, run the pick-and-roll, or execute the pick-and-pop. This ball-screen action is a thing of beauty when run to perfection.