Questions From Subscribers...

Topic:  Great Offense Against Man to Man and Zone Defenses

Question from Reggie:
Is there any way you can help me with a great Motion offense that will work on man to man and a zone?

Answers and Comments

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Rod Raehsler says:
12/5/2008 at 9:44:42 AM

Is there a play or formation (other than the Quick Hitter play) that is effective against the 1-3-1 zone?


Joe (Co-founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
12/17/2007 at 8:18:15 AM

Before choosing an offense, I would highly advise to read the new offensive philosophy article. It also has sample offenses to help you choose or create your own offense. Here's the link:


Don Kelbick says:
12/17/2007 at 8:13:57 AM

There are no great offenses, only great players.

In addition, aside from how many players you want on the perimeter (5 out, 4 out,etc) by definition, there is really only 1 motion offense. It is a read, pass move offense that takes on different forms based upon what best takes advantage of the defense.

What ever cuts you make against a man, you can make against a zone. Make sure you don't cut to spots but to openings.

You can set the same kind of screens against a zone as you do against a man with 2 adjustment.

The first adjustment is timing. Because a zone moves with the ball, setting a screen too early will be ineffective because the defense will not be in the same place when the ball arrives. The screen should be made at the time the ball can be delivered, maybe even when the ball is in the air. It is not as hard as it sounds, it just takes an awareness of when to pass the ball.

The second adjustment is to screen an area instead of the player. Since coverages change with ball movement, the defensive player who is defending a player when the ball is in one place, won't be defending with the ball in another area. For example, if you have a player on the block who you are going to bring to the wing, screening the player defending on the block will not be effective. You need to screen in the area on the wing where your player is going to cut to.

To be an effective screening team against a zone, you need to think as a zone coach, understand how the zone moves and what the coverages are and then screen, at the proper time, the areas where you want your offensive players to be effective.

Don Kelbick
Contributing Editor, Breakthrough Basketball


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