When designing and implementing a conceptual offense we start with the end in mind. We want to get a high value shot that stems from an offensive advantage. A high value shot can differ from team to team, but we primarily were looking for shots at the rim, free throws, and inside-out threes. An advantage can come in the form of a numbers advantage, a long closeout, or a mismatch. For us to be most effective when an advantage is created, our players must understand spacing and possess the ability to make quick decisions and finish plays. With these concepts in mind, as coaches, we must give them a template that puts them in the positions that best use their skill-sets.
For us, we had a bunch of players who were ultra-skilled with the basketball and thrived in the open floor. We always wanted them thinking “attack” upon a change of possession. On an opponent miss, we want to secure possession and then get the ball advanced up the floor as quickly as possible. Whether that be with a “pitch ahead” (same-side pass up the floor), “pitch across” (opposite-side pass up floor), or with the dribble, we are encouraging our players to get the ball up the floor and put immediate pressure on the defense. This pace can only be set if our players without the ball are willing to sprint. We teach our players to sprint wide (toward the sideline) and deep (toward the corner) unless they are or have the ability to get behind the defense, in which case they can break their path for a lay-up. On a make, our same principles apply. We say “Right Back at Em” to instill a mentality of “if they score, we’re coming right back and matching it”.
If our primary transition doesn’t get us into a high value shot, we can seamlessly flow into our motion principles (without a call), which we term Space & Attack. Space & Attack is predicated on the understanding of space (general positioning, penetration reaction, second cuts) and putting pressure on the rim through dribble penetration, cutting, or playing through the post. This next video shows clips of our team flowing from transition into Space & Attack.
Within our Space & Attack, we use post play as a way of attacking a match-up as well as creating coordinated actions with our players that can help disorganize the defense and create an advantage. As a general rule, anytime the ball is entered into the post, we get into a “split action” with the player who entered the ball into the post. Depending on how the defense plays us, we can screen the backside, cut behind the defense, or hold our space.
At times within a game we won’t need action outside of Primary Transition and our Space & Attack principles. In other instances, we might use a Quick, which is a designed action in hopes of creating an advantage or to attack a matchup/ specific defensive coverage we noticed. Sometimes the quick actions can be called, other times we can flow into them organically. Most of our quick actions stem from the same alignment as our base spacing.
FLOW FROM QUICK ACTIONS
If we don’t create an advantage with a quick action our offense doesn’t stall or reset. We immediately move into our Space & Attack principles to continue to put pressure on the defense. The same concept applies on baseline and sideline out of bounds as well. We use an action to try and score or create an advantage, but if neither happens, we seamlessly flow into our Space & Attack principles.
If any coaches that read this post are interested in having Taylor Jannsen conduct a clinic or practice(s) to help design and implement a conceptual offense that fits your team and level, please contact him @ firstname.lastname@example.org