Motion Strong Action

Updated: Apr 2

Motion Strong Action is a commonly used offensive action that can be easily tweaked to help support your team's strengths and weaknesses.

Countless teams at all levels have used the Motion Strong concept as a staple of their offense. Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs have used the action throughout their Championship years, and in recent seasons the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and others have adopted their own unique versions of the action. At the College Level programs such as Davidson, Tennessee, and many other Bob McKillop influenced coaches have found success implementing their own version of the staggered screen and Motion Strong Action.

As I went into the 2019-20 offseason I had a few team-specific issues that I thought Motion Strong Action might help solve. The main two issues I was concerned about were:

  1. The Constant Face Guarding of Our Best Scorer

  2. Finding a Way to Get our 5 Man More Actively Involved

The version of Motion Strong that I was most interested in used 4 Out 1 In spacing and initiated the staggered screen when the ball was swung from slot to slot to wing. When it came to solving the first problem mentioned above I thought that using the staggered screening action would not only free up our best player from face guarding but open up more varied scoring opportunities for our other players as well. The second issue of getting our Post Player more involved would be solved by giving them post up and flare screening opportunities within the action.

The Straight Cut

The most common cut off of the staggered screen is the straight cut. The straight cut uses both of the staggered down screens and looks to get a touch at the top of the key. If there is no denial or switching from the defense then the cutter will make the straight cut and look to get a touch. On the catch, players will need to either use their advantage for a shot/drive decision or move the basketball to the backside.

Straight Cuts -

Shots & Drives:

The first thing that players are looking for on the catch is an opportunity to catch & shoot or drive to the rim.

The progression on the catch should be:

  1. Shoot It

  2. Drive It

  3. Move it

Small & Big Advantage:

A big advantage on the catch would typically result in a catch & shoot opportunity for the cutter.

A small advantage on the catch would usually elicit a drive to the basket or a pass to the backside of the action.

Roll Man & Backside -

If a straight cut results in a shot or drive then we will be looking to attack the offensive glass and clean up any missed shots. If there was no immediate shot or drive that occurred on the straight cut touch then the ball should be heading to the backside via the pass. We did not incorporate any type of continuity to the action once the ball gets to the backside of the action. Once the ball gets to the backside of the action players are going to using our drive and space concepts to get a shot.

Roll Man & Backside -

Roll Man:

On a straight cut, the second screener in the stagger will automatically dive to the basket.

Roll Man Opportunities:

  • Hit for a Roll Pass Layup

  • Roller Stops & Posts Up


If the roll man is covered then the man with the ball will look to the player on the backside of the action.

  • Pass & Cut Option

  • Conduct a DHO