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Offensive Installation

When planning out how you will install your offense try starting with the most important element then building out from there.

It's a good idea to not get too lost in the weeds when it comes to planning for the season, but one element I think would be beneficial for coaches to put thought into is how they plan to teach their offensive system. In an effort to reduce the learning curve we want to develop a logical progression that will allow players to build on each level of the offense. Generally speaking, I'm not talking about micro-level details, but the macro-level concepts that players must master in order to be effective in our system.

Admittedly, there is no correct way to install an offense, and if you talked to enough coaches you might come across every possible version of how to do it. Over the course of the last five years, I feel like I have arrived at a comfortable understanding of my preferred method of installing offense. To me, we need to start with the aspect of offense that impacts our success the most. Once we determine what that is we can ask the question again and move to the next most important aspect. Theoretically, I want to follow this format until we get to those aspects of the offense that are rarely used.

Half Court Spacing -

The first thing we try to teach offensively is our half-court spacing. One of the first questions I want our players to be able to answer is, "what should our spacing look like when we arrive in the half-court?" Once we understand that then we get into the more challenging components of offense like reactions and creating advantages.

Four Out Spacing -

If we are not going to get a shot out of our Primary Break then the next objective is to arrive in the half-court with good 4 Out, 1 In spacing.


We are expecting our Rim Runner to get post position on the ballside - looking for an early post entry.


The two players running the sideline in transition should stop at about the same depth as our Rim Runner.


The slots are extended out to the depth of the NBA three-point line and just over the width of the lane lines. We typically want our two slot players to be even with one another if the ball has not been advanced. On the larger courts, we try to extend out further and ask the slot players to align themselves on the volleyball line.

Drive & Post Reactions -

The next layer of offense that we want to install is our reactions to a Dribble Drive and Post Entry Pass. These are things that will happen repeatedly over the course of the game, so we want them to be ingrained into the habits of our players. One thing I want to emphasize in this phase is to just keep it simple with your players' movements. We don't want reactions to be complicated, but just serve the purpose of helping us extend or keep advantages.

Post Entry -

We want to keep our Post Entry reactions simple. The goal is to give the ball space to operate, while also providing options in case the ball is doubled.

Pass & Cut:

If the ball is passed from slot to wing the passer cuts to the opposite corner in an attempt to open a gap on the ballside. This will help facilitate an easier post entry pass.

Entry Reaction:

Once the ball is entered into the post we would like the passer (2) to make himself available for a kickout pass by respacing to the corner. On the backside, we are asking the single gap player (3) to make a "burn" or "back door cut" to give the post player a drop pass option in case their defender turns his head. If the double team does not come we want our post player to go to work on the block.

Drive & Space Reactions -

The main objective in our Drive & Space reactions is to give the basketball a Quick Pitch and Drop Pass option.

Slot Drive:

The most common type of drive we get is the slot drive. On these drives we want the wing player to fade to the corner, the 5 Man to circle away from the drive, and the 3 to backfill to the point.

Wing Drive:

Another common drive we will see in games is the wing drive. In these types of drives, we want to get the 5 dropping to baseline, shooters on the backside spotting up, and someone backfilling the driver.

Baseline Drive:

Generally speaking, we are encouraging our baseline drivers to be looking to score the ball. On the occasion that the defense prevents any scoring opportunity we want to provide those same Drop Pass and Quick Pitch options by haveing out 5 Man Pop Up, and our backside players fading towards the baseline.