We take great pride in being the best motion team we can be. Learning to play this way is not easy. I often compare motion to reading. It takes time, but once you know how it's really worth it.
In order for our offense to be successful—we must play harder, smarter, and more together than our opponent. Our motion offense helps to coordinate all of our individual skills into a cohesive team unit. No longer will skills be thought of as individual, but rather a contributing asset to our team play. Each player will maintain his own creativity and initiative because our offense is flexible enough to expose such assets. Most often we function with four perimeter players around one inside player. There are also times when we are most efficient with our five best players on the floor. This five out, positionless concept is also the set we encourage all of our youth programs to implement.
The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Too often a player is marked as a “big” early in his adolescence, only to stop growing by his freshman year. By this time his skill level is lagging behind the others and the transition back to the perimeter is insurmountable. If you are a youth coach, the greatest service you can do for your players is to teach them the fundamentals of the game and allow everybody to play inside and out. Our best teams have always been made up of highly skilled players who could do it all.
Long Cutters = Level w/the rim, outside the arc.
Wings = Freethrow line extended (FTE), outside the arc.
Point = Well above top of the circle. He is encouraged to favor a lane to shorten his pass.
Emphasize "BIG SPACING" outside the arc. When in doubt, space out! (GO/GO principle)
*Special Note: Don't let the numbers confuse you. We want to be positionless AMAP.
After passing, 1 needs to move off his spot. The most lethal cut is to the basket (aka Basket Cut). We are always telling our players to put pressure on the rim. This cut happens quickly and across the face of X1 (aka Front Cut). If X1 jumps to the ball, 1 could possibly rear cut to the basket.
Emphasize RPA on the catch. 2 catches and looks to the Rim (triple threat/.5 mentality), Post (if present), Action (cutter).
3 recognizes the open spot to be filled (aka Fill Cut). The cut he uses has everything to do with how he is being guarded. Blast Cut verses a sagging, help defender or an L-Cut to counter denial pressure.
Encourage 1 to space out away from the ball. 5 must fills up to make this possible.
5-Out Screening Away:
If 1 is unable to make a clean cut to the rim, he has the option to do the next best thing: Screen away (from the ball) for a teammate. In this situation, a middle screen presents itself. We are still trying to put pressure on the rim. 3 is the next cutter to do so.
Screening Game Tip: Remind your 1st and 2nd cutters they should go opposite of each other. Emphasize the 3 W's (Wide, Wait and Watch).
5-Out Ball Screening:
Screening on the ball isn't for everyone, but with the right combo of personnel it can be unstoppable. Here we see 5 chasing his pass into a ball screen for 1. He goes to the "nail" to ensure the best possible screening angle (force X1 to go over the screen) and then sprints to screen.
Encourage 1 to refuse the ball screen and attack the rim AMAOP. Seldom do teams have a defense for this situation.
5-Out Ball Screening Back Action:
One of the reasons the ball screen can be so difficult to guard is the "Back Action". To stop 5 from scoring on his roll, X2 must help. This is called "Tagging". As this happens, 2 Lifts (aka Shakes) up behind the action.
1 must drive the ball 2 dribbles as he probes his options: 1) Get downhill. 2) Pocket pass to 5. 3) Pass back to 2. 4) Kick out to 3 and/or 4.
Instruct 3 and 4 to "Hold the Sideline" as 1 drives the ball. They should be "Shot Ready" as the HTS.
5-Out Dribble Hand-Off:
Similar to the ball screen, with the right combo of personnel, the use of the Dribble Hand-Off (aka Flip/Pitch) can be a hard to guard counter. It too should not be over used.
Encourage players to treat the DHO much like a ball screen: Back Action, Holding the Sideline, all apply.
5-Out Wide Pin Down:
Players should be taught the value occupying their man and/or screening to get a teammate open. A wide pin down (WPD) screen does just that, all the while maintaining big spacing.
*Special Note: 4 Corner WPD Shooting is an excellent team shooting drill to teach these screens and cuts.
5-Out X-Cutting from the Wing:
It's important for your players to realize the options to cut and/or screen exist from the wing too. 2 passes back to the top and cuts to the basket (aka X-Cut), momentarily a double gap is created. We like to drive double gaps, but pass through single ones. How we fill and replace can be messy. So much of it depends on what the ball is doing. This diagram shows 3 driving the double gap.
This is the read to teach: Should X4 show 3 his numbers = kick it!
5-Out Cutting and Replace from the Wing:
2 passes back to the top and cuts to the basket, but this time the ball is changed like a double play in baseball. This action is perfectly fine, but 2 needs get out (GO/GO). 4 fills up to allow for 2 to space out and away from the ball.
Remember to pass through single gaps and drive double gaps. Create drills to enhance your players' .5 decision making skills.
Learning to Back Cut (aka Bacon) pressure is not easy, but those who do become the most complete players in the game. The passer is just as important as the cutter. The two need to be in sync with each other and read the defense. Here 2 "Butcher-Surgeons" (Butcher = hard pass fake) and 3 reads this cue and back cuts to the rim.
Emphasize eye contact and pass fakes. Don't fight the pressure.
5-Out Dribble-at Back Cut:
This action is more advanced as the pass is made off of the dribble. 1 dribbles at 2. When X2 peeks at the ball, 2 cuts hard. 1 bounce passes right off of X2's hip. It happens quickly with great precision. This same cut can easily be made off the baseline.
Remind the passer the height at which he releases the bounce pass is how high it will bounce up to his target.
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