In an attempt to make clear to coaches a way in which they can evaluate the quality of their offensive possessions, we have devised this template.
Spacing – Do we “show up” on the offensive end in our “spots” with wide and deep spacing?
Action – If no easy scoring opportunity is present in transition and the defense has recovered, do we use an action stemming from our spacing template to create an advantage? How quickly do we do this?
Advantage – Does the action create an advantage for a player in the action or one of the players out of the action? Do we keep, maintain and increase the advantage the action created?
Let’s tackle these one by one.
What matters most is that our players know the template and are able to run in transition to those spots. We want to begin the possession with quality spacing. This begins in transition offense.
Online Clinic: Offensive Spacing Principles
A simple tool I used to inform our transition offense teaching was to start with our half court offense and work backwards. In a sense, we are reverse engineering our transition offense from our half court offense.
If we were a four-out team, we used a rim runner who ended up in the post and two wings who ran to the deep corners. The last two players “squared the top.” At the “end” of our primary break we are in our half court offense’s spacing template.
For five -out teams we forego the rim runner and “find a sideline” keeping the lane open while still filling corners. We end up with a “single side” and “double side” in a five-out template.
Either way, our half court offense helps me teach our transition offense. We want to show up looking like this, so run like this in transition.
Playbook: Five-Out Early Offense Package
This could be a drag ball screen, an away screen or a cut to open a gap for a drive. Or it could be any number of other things simple or complex. What I care about most is 1) it initiates seamlessly from our spacing template and 2) we get to it within the first four to five seconds of the possession.
Depending on the action there could be two or three players in the action and the remaining players out of the action. I want them to do just that! Stay out of the action!
So let’s take the drag ball screen as an example.
Two players are in the action. Three players are out of the action. The hope is the action creates an advantage for one of the two players in the action (i.e. a score by the ball handler or the roller).
Should the action create an advantage that requires a help defender to intercede, then one of the players out of the action could be the beneficiary of the action. Perhaps the drag ball screen creates a downhill drive for the ball handler. An off-ball defender helps and we pass to where the help came from for an inside-out three.
Rim Decisions: Teaching Video— John Leonzo (@John_Leonzo) August 16, 2021
Big idea = pass to where the help came from.
When the second level of help arrives, deliver the ball to their man. pic.twitter.com/YVVW06uMQ0
Our goals once we have created an advantage:
Use it for a score
Increase the advantage
Maintain the advantage
The next time you are evaluating your offensive possessions begin with the moment your team regains possession of the ball. That may be after a defensive rebound or getting scored upon.
At that moment we begin creating the spacing conditions for our half court offense by the way we run in transition. If we don’t score in a fastbreak, we need an action. We want to get to our first action in four to five seconds directly from our spacing template. No call needed. Lastly we want to use the advantage the action created for a score. Spacing. Action. Advantage.
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