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Coaching Tips

Basketball Offenses | Motion Offense | Basketball Plays | Shooting Tips | Basketball Defenses | Man Defense | Basketball Practice

Motion Offense

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
 
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.

Lane-to-lane Blocker
 
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.

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Blocker's Rules for Setting Screens

Basketball Coaching Tips for Blockers

* It is the Blocker's responsibility to free the Mover from the defender.
* Set your screen on the defender's numbers (head hunt).
* Communicate -- call the Mover's name to let him know you're coming to set a screen for him.
* Come to a jump stop with your feet shoulder-width apart.
* Bend your knees when setting the screen.
* Place your hands in front of your midsection.
* Set the screen approximately an arm's length away from the defender.
* Be firmly set and ready for contact.
* Hold all screens for a "two count."
* Move with purpose - make reads and react depending on how your defender gives help on the Mover.

Motion Offense: Movers
Basketball Player Rules for the Motion Offense
 
Movers are the cutters in our Motion offense. These two guys must be excellent offensive players with the ability to read defenses, to get open, to create offense for their teammates, and especially to shoot the basketball. It is imperative that our Movers become adept at reading the defense to make the appropriate cut (pop, curl, fade, and the back cut) off of a Blocker's screen.
 
Movers must be hard to guard. We tell our Movers that they must play tag with their defender and force the defense to cheat and give help. This then creates scoring opportunities for our second cutters the Blockers (pop-out to the three point line, flash cut into the high post, or slip the screen and cut directly to the basket).
 
To maintain floor balance, we divide the floor down the middle and restrict only one Mover to either side of the court. If action results in both Movers filling one side of the court, one of the two will then relocate to the empty side. This rule helps us to keep the floor balanced.
 
To keep everyone happy and involved in the offense, Movers must always be looking for opportunities to pass the ball to the Blockers for the open shot. In many situations, the Movers will find that they are being guarded by two defenders. When this takes place, a quick pass to the open Blocker will result in a great shot opportunity for this teammate. When the extra pass is made at the appropriate moment, this offense is very hard to stop.

Mover's Rules for Receiving a Screen
Basketball Coaching Tips for Movers
 
* Set up your defender -- make a v-cut prior to using the screen.
* On the v-cut, read the defense; if he is high, start him high and cut low; if he is low, start him low and cut high. 
* Wait for the screen -- do not go early. Give the Blocker time to get set. Be one second late when accepting screens. 
* Drive your defender into the screen. Make shoulder contact with the Blocker as you cut.
* Read the defense. The type of cut you make is determined by the defensive player's position:
* Popup cut off the screen - defense straight into the screen.
* Curl cut off the screen - defense follows.
* Back cut off the screen - defense is cheating and playing high.
* Flare cut off the screen - defense sags to protect middle 1/3.
Motion Offense Teaching Points
More Basketball Coaching Tips

* Keep the offense high and wide. We want to use the NBA three point line for spacing purposes.
* Watch the defense not the basketball. The ball will come to the action. 
* Take the ball to the action. In our offense, the basketball reacts to movement.
* Read the defense. Everyone must move with a purpose.
* We want 2 side changes before a perimeter shot can be attempted (except for a great shooter).
* Look inside for a two count after you catch the ball.
* It's not how fast you go, it's what you do.
* Don't dribble the ball while screens are being made. 
* Look to dribble penetrate to the elbows to create offense. We want our slasher to use a jump stop and to get a piece of the paint. This is a great time to look for the European 3.
* Attack the basket to pass, not shoot. We want to use the dribble to create draw-and-kick and draw-and-kick out situations.
* Stay off the baseline unless you can go all the way to the basket.
* Do not remain in one area of the court for more than a two count without the basketball.
* Don't clog the ball-side low post. Keep this area open. 
* After passing the ball into the low post, cut to the basket (Laker cut) looking for a return pass.
* Rebound the offense. Players #5, #4, and #3 must crash the boards. Players #1 and #2 must get back.

This Motion Offense Produces Catalyst Players
 
 

Motion offense is designed to get his team's two best shooters open. These are the players that he wants to see get the most touches, and the players he wants to see take the most shots. Naturally, because they are great shooters, the defense tries to stop them from getting touches and free looks at the basket. By designating role players as Blockers,