By John Kresse

Step by step directions for constructing an offensive scheme to successfully care for quarter defenses.

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Extra resources for Attacking Zone Defenses (Art and Science of Coaching)

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As a basketball team, you can't attack a defense until you recognize it. Since regular zones (2-1-2, 2-3, 1-2-2, 3-2 and 1-3-1) assign defenders specific sections of the court rather than opposing players, you can recognize the defense by sending a cutter from the top of the key, wing, foul line, or corner to the basket and then to the other side of the floor. If your opponent is playing man-to-man defense a defender will stay with the cutter from one side of the floor to the other. Zones are employed to take advantage of defensive players' individual skills, whether the skills are to steal the ball, to deny inside play, or to intimidate and to block shots.

In theory, a continuity can run as long as necessary to create a high-percentage scoring opportunity. That may take one pass, seven or eight passes, or however many passes time allows and you prefer. The continuity offers three distinct advantages. It places all players in a position to score, with particular emphasis on the inside game. It uses some screens against a zone's interior, a fairly new ploy that some teams may not be able to handle. And it can be employed as a time-killing device in late-game situations.

We always go to the offensive boards with three big players. The small forward should get his share of offensive rebounds due to quickness and maneuverability, combined with the anticipation factor inherent in our continuities and set plays. While the small forward assumes perimeter responsibilities, the other forward's strength should be just thatstrength. Sure, it's great if your power forward doubles as an outside threat, but that's not a necessity. An occasional 15-footer from the short corner, combined with baseline driving ability will suffice.

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