The Most Under Used Basketball Offense

Have you heard the basketball quote, “You can’t grow height”? I have seen it, read it, and heard it alot in my years in basketball. It should be, “You can’t grow height”. but you sure as heck can coach it and use it correctly and effectively.

Have you heard the story about the big 6′ 10″ center who had not received a pass in the low post in the first half. He finally received one with 5 minutes to go in the first half. He immediately called time out and as the team was going to the huddle on the sidelines, the coach asked the center why he called a timeout?

The big center replied. “Coach. I know the ball is round on the defensive end when I get the rebound and pass it out to a teammate, but when I received the pass for the first time in the game on the block, I was surprised and shocked that  I had to call a timeout to see if the ball was still round on the offensive end”.

One of the biggest coaching weakness I see every year officiating and watching games at all levels nis that the most under used offense in the game today is the inside game. Most players and coaches have gone away this mainly because of the 3 point line.

Post players have to run rim to rim on every possession change. They need to be rewarded by getting them the ball on the low block.

Statistics bear out that the highest shooting percentage for 3’s is when the ball goes to post players on the low block and when they are double teamed by the defense they can pass the ball out to the open 3 point shooter whose defender has left them to double team the low post players. The reason being the passer is usually squared to the basket  and has time to get the 3 off before their defender can recover from the double team.

The next highest percentage is when there is dribble penetration into the paint and the ball is passed out to the 3 point shooter  whose defender has moved over to close the door and help out on the dribble penetration. The reason it is not as high a percentage 3 then the pass out from the low post is because many times the shooter does not get squared to the basket properly as they are not facing the basket when they receive the pass.

The lowest shooting percentage for 3 pointers is when the 3 is taken without the ball getting into the paint. 3 point shots coming of screens by players running their defender of screens, shooting off screens to the ball or ball to the screens or shooting off the dribble leads to the lowest 3 point percentage 

This is because many times players have to rush their shot  because of the defense not having to double team the post, thus they are not squared to the basket or do not have enough time to get the shot off properly, usually resulting in the shooter not being able to get enough leg into their shot.

Coaches can solve 3 problems. First, they can reward their post players by getting them the ball, second, they can improve their 3 point percentage bu getting more open looks for 3’a if they go inside and then outside and three, they can get their team to the foul line more by going inside more often.

Defending the low block one on one is the toughest place on the floor to defend because the player with the ball knows when he/she is going to leave the floor to take the shot. They can go up for the shot immediately upon receiving the ball, They can ball fake and then shoot. They can head fake and then shoot or they can combine the ball and head fake or the head and ball fake and then shoot.

The player on the block has the advantage of knowing when he/she is going to leave the floor and the defender does not as they should be waiting until the offensive player with the ball leaves his/her

This is what forces the double downs to double team the low post player when they get the ball on the low block.

Coaches need to use an offensive set that mades it difficult to double team the post area without giving up open threes or open layups. They need to use an offensive set that spreads the spacing of the defensive players.

Perimeter players need to be coached that when they receive the ball at the three point line they should immediately face the basket and look for the post players on the low block.

The post players should seal their defenders (depending how they are being defended) put their hand up where they want to receive the ball from the passer. 

All offensive players should be taught how to post up,seal their defender  and ask for the ball correctly.

If teams go inside first and outside on the double down they will see their 3 point shooting percentage improve best they will being more open 3’s. If the player whose defender is the one that double downs on the post player at the block and that offensive player is not a good perimeter shooter, then  he/she should cut to the basket and look to receive a return pass from the post player for a layup

If coaches at all levels would design their offenses to go inside first, then they would get higher overall percentage shots, open looks for 3’s and get to the foul line more.

Try it. You might like it.

 

If you would like to suggest a topic for the column please e-mail me at mrp17@roadrunner.com.

Also, if you would like additional basketball info you can  go to my new Bangor Daily News Blog which has a weekly PlayerTip of the Week, Coaches Tip of the Week, Rule of the Week, Trivia Question of the Week and additonal articles about basketball not in the Tuesday Columms. Login at bangordailynews.com