Use variations of Motion Strong Action to combat troublesome defensive tactics or to get specific players touches in preferred locations.
At some point over the course of thirty two minutes of game play the defense will begin to get a read on your most common half court actions. Perhaps the defense is denying a key pass, sagging off of a non shooter, or maybe switching to prevent a certain player from touching the ball. Although I would not advocate for continually "adding more" to your players' plates, I do think that having a few wrinkles that seamlessly blend with your offensive concepts will benefit your offensive efficiency. They will also give you a way to combat common problems you see in case your players struggle to recognize it quickly.
One of the benefits of Motion Strong Action is that it can be easily tweaked to combat various defensive strategies, and get specific players touches in preferred locations. The actions that are presented in this blog post present a slight variation in Motion Strong action, each of which are designed to force the defense to defend a new wrinkle.
The Actions Presented were used to:
1. Get a Perimeter Player into the Post
2. Get a Two Man Action on the Weak Side
3. Open the Middle for Curls (vs. a Sagging X5 defender)
Chin Action, as we called it, would start with getting your key perimeter player the basketball. What we are trying to do is get our isolate our best player in the post with a Back Screen, Staggered Screen combo. In the video clips below we used Chin Action off of a dead ball. We simply inbounded the basketball to the key player and then executed the Back Screen, Stagger Screen Action. In the diagram pictured below I presented a scenario where you could simply get a Slot to Wing DHO to then flow into that same concept.
Single Down Screen Action
Single Down Screen Action, is an action that can be called by the coach or one that can be given to players as an option. In the video clips below the player who makes the slot to slot pass, which typically initiates the Motion Strong Action, decides to make a 45 cut instead. There are a few benefits to this as it now opens up the weak side more than normal.
What Opens Up?
1. Better Driving Gap off a Straight Cut
2. Opens up the Slip to the Rim for the Roller.
3. Chance to Post Up your 2nd Screener (Not Shown in Video)
Using a Horns Entry to get into Motion Strong is a great way to open up the middle of the floor for those teams that are typically using a 5 Man on the block. If the center's man is sagging off of him and disrupting action heading to the rim, this could be used to extend him outside of the paint and get action underneath him. Although we did not use this action this year (We focused on using the Flare Screen Action to combat this), it was something that we worked on in practice last season.
1. 5 & 4 Position Themselves at the Elbows
2. The Ball is Entered to the 5 or 4
3. The Stagger is Set by 1 & whoever does not get the entry pass
4. Motion Strong Reads are Executed (Curl, Back Door, Straight Cut)
5. **RULE** 2nd Screener always Rolls on Straight Cuts.
For a number of reasons I think having a few wrinkles for your offensive system is a must. Although the goal is to teach our players to be able to read defenses and make appropriate decisions based off of it, the reality is that they sometimes need help in seeing it. Using a few simple, seamless wrinkles will allow you to help them solve problems that arise in games.
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Videos & Further Reading:
1. Blog Post on Motion Strong - https://www.leicesterbasketball.com/post/motion-strong
2. Look into Davidson (Princeton Inspired) Chin Action