Half Court Flow 2020-21
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
In this post, we will discuss the offensive concepts that our team will employ when no immediate shot comes out of transition.
Flow Offense is important to our offensive philosophy. Like many teams, our preference would be to push the basketball in transition and score before the defense is set. If that is not possible then we would like our players to be able to execute a few offensive concepts that do not require them to stop and "Run a Play". This aspect of Half Court Offense, which occurs after initial transition efforts are neutralized, is what we call Flow Offense.
What we are doing with Flow Offense is giving our players a basic structure and spacing template to play from, while allowing them to make reads and choices based on the defense's response. It is essentially a mix of structure and freedom. From a coach's perspective, we need to make it clear early in the preseason what triggers Flow Offense, what options the players have, and what reads they should look for. Let's take a look at what we're working on for this upcoming season.
I - Triggers & Half Court Spacing
One thing that will improve your Half Court Flow is focusing on getting your players to end their transition run in your Half Court offensive spacing. In our case, we would like our players to end their transition runs with this general five out spacing. We are keeping the middle of the floor open while stretching the defense both vertically and horizontally.
Half Court Spacing -
We are viewing are players 1-4 are interchangeable. Even though players are numbered and placed in these specific positions - any one of those players could potentially fill the corners, fill the high wing, or enter the basketball into the Half Court.
Basic Spacing Template -
Corners are Filled
Ball has entered in the Slot
Opposite High Wing Filled
5 Man Fills the Point
Q. What if a Perimeter Player ran to the rim in transition?
A. Any player (5 Man included) who sees a chance to the run to the rim and receive a pitch ahead pass may do so. However, if they do not get the basketball we are asking our A) Perimeter Players to fill back out to the nearest corner, and B) our 5 Man to fill back out to the point.
Trigger into Half Court Offense -
The way that we know that Transition Offense has ended and Half Court Flow has began is establishing a trigger.
The Trigger for us entering into Half Court Flow is the entry pass to the Trailer.
That pass to the Trailer is the last option in transition so when this pass is made we are conceding that our priority options in Transition are not there.
1 - Pitch Ahead Pass
2 - Attack the Rim
3 - Play Through the Trailer
Once this pass to the trailer has been made we have a few concepts that we can employ and the bulk of that decision making will fall on the 5 Man.
II - Trailer Options
We want to give our Trailer a few options to execute once he receives the entry pass. The two concepts we are looking to employ are:
Motion Strong Action
Stagggered DHO Action
It is ultimately up to the trailer to decide what concept is going to be executed, but I do think there are a few reads & situational factors that can help him make that decision.
We'll get into these in a bit more detail further down in the post - but some of those factors might include:
Dead Ball or Live Ball
Defense is Denying or Switching , etc.
Option 1 - Motion Strong Action
Motion Strong Action is something that worked heavily last season - with some success. Last year we incorporated it with a postplayer in four out spacing, this year we will be tweaking it to incorporate the five out version.
Motion Strong Action is defined by the swinging of the basketball from one wing to the other - then the execution of a staggered down screen.
The Cutter (2 in the picture) has a few options they can choose:
Back Door Cut to the Rim
Curl one of the Screens
Straight Cut to the Ball
Based on what the cutter does The Screeners (1 and 5 in the diagram) have appropriate Spacing Responses as well:
The First Screener (1) Spaces to the Corner
The Second Screener (5) Rolls to the Post, or Flashes Back to the Ball
Here are some clips of the Straight Cut option for the Cutter off of Motion Strong Action.
Option 2 - Staggered DHO
The second option that the trailer has is to go directly into a Staggered DHO.
Anytime the entry pass to the trailer is made ther passer goes directly into a down screen for the corner player.
We are trying to create an advantage for the Cutter in the corner by giving him both the down screen and DHO moment to create confusion. Following the exchange we would like our 5 Man to roll to the rim for a pass or Post Up opportunity.
Teaching Points for the Action:
Screeners - Get inside the 3 Pt Line
Screeners - Make the Defender "Go Over"
Screeners - Get "A Piece" of the Defender
Cutters - Set Up Your Cut
Cutters - Think Shot, Drive, Pass on the Catch
Weak Side vs Strong Side -
The staggered DHO can go to either the Strong Side or the Weak Side of the floor. We are defining the "Strong Side" as the area from where the basketball came from. The "Weak Side" would be the opposite side of the floor. It is the trailer's choice as to which side he brings the basketball, but coaches can most certainly encourage one direction or the other early in the season.
One rule that is governing the "Weak Side DHO" is:
If the basketball is dribbled at you - screen down to the corner.
Here are a few clips of Northern Iowa executing the staggered DHO action off of the Trailer Entry pass.
Video Resources -
If you are looking for more resources on executing the Staggered DHO concept these are excellent cut ups to take a look at.
Coach Dorsey "5 Out Offense - Northern Iowa" - https://youtu.be/0TTqPQZFgxI
Radius Athletics "Northern Iowa 5 Out Offense " - https://youtu.be/XFf7DojSmGM
Jeffrey Robinson "Northern Iowa 5 Out Concepts" - https://youtu.be/kH1gptpCgx0
Concluding Thoughts -
The goal of Half Court Flow offense is to not let the defense rest & regroup following transition. We are attacking the defense in transition and then immediately flowing into our Flow concepts without allowing the defense to have that "Set it Up" recovery time. The entry pass to the Trailer will serve as our trigger for this phase of the possession and from there we will allow him some freedom to make choices. He can a) Swing the Basketball and initiate Motion Strong Action or he can b) Dribble the ballinto our Staggered DHO Action.
Perhaps the final question to answer is what if there is no shot?
Given that we are working with a 30 second Shot Clock in Massachusetts we need to continue to attack if there Is no immediate advantage. Perimeter players should be looking to attack gaps that present themselves in the defense, and our 5 Man should look to Post Up off of his roll to the basket or screen for the basketball if it has been neutralized. The bottom line is that we want to continue to move the basketball and allow our Drive & Space principles to finish the possession.
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