Offensive Principles

Our half court offense is used when we our bringing the ball down court deliberately. It defines roles for each player and helps him determine what he needs to do with the ball and what he can look for. From this basic offense, we can run designed plays.

To be successful on offense, we need to remember a couple of things:

Try to remember these tips when you are on offense. There are five players on the court, and we have three different roles on offense: a Guard, two Wings, and two Posts.

The Guard, or #1, is going to do a lot of dribbling and passing, so he needs to be reliable with the ball. He is also the leader of the offense, so he needs to be smart. The guard is really doing his job if his teammates are getting the ball when they're open. Shots that the guards will see are layups and shots near the free throw line.

The Wings, #2 and #3, will pass the ball a lot when they are on the playside, and they need to be able to move quickly, too. They should work on their passing skills, because they will pivot alot and bounce the ball to a moving teammate. They have to be pretty well rounded players. They will also protect us when we have to quickly change from offense to defense, but they should also be able get physical and fight for rebounds, too!

The Posts, #4 and #5, are the big fellas. They need to be able to make a bank shot from the block on the key, which would be a good shot for them to practice. We also need them to be strong rebounders, because they will be positioned under the basket. We want these guys to be ferocious rebounders.

The basic offense sets up as shown in the first image (you can click on any of the images to view a bigger version.) This is the half court offense, as revised December 2006. To view an animation of the offense, click here.

#1 is at the point guard position and brings the ball down court, pausing long enough for his teammates to set up. We call this balancing the floor. (Don't forget the ball needs to be on our side of the court in ten seconds, though!) The wings position themselves on the extended foul line, just outside of the three point arc. #4 and #5 set up at the low post positions, near the key blocks. Initially we want to spread out when we set up to create space and we want to be balanced so that we can go just as easily to either side. That will make things harder for the defense.

Now the point guard (#1 at this time), begins to attack the defense, as shown in the next image. You can click on the image to enlarge it.

The point guard drives to either side of the key, and it's a good idea to attack both the left and the right side to keep the defense confused. A fake to the opposite side will also help open things up, especially if we've worked on both the left and right sides of the key. Initially, the point guard drives as though he's going to make a lay up. If the defenders leave this lane open, then the point guard should continue to drive. Everyone else flows in the direction of the ball.

The backside (away from the side of the attack) wing, in this case #2, drops back as he moves toward the playside, because he will become the point guard if #1 commits by driving, shooting, or passing the ball.

The playside wing slides out a bit to create space for #1, and lower, moving into a better position of attack if he gets the ball. He is within range of a pass and able to drive for a shot or collapse on the basket for a rebound.

The playside post slides out, giving #1 an option to pass to and maintaining a good position from which to shoot and rebound.

The backside post is thinking "back door," maintaining a good rebound (box out) position on the post away from the shot.

As the point guard (#1) approaches the key, the defense will likely plug up the lane, preventing him from driving. If they don't, #1 will be able to drive "the lane" for a layup. But the defense will probably come out and attack the ball as it nears the key, presenting #1 with three choices: shoot, pass, or drive. He will have numerous options, and should he pass to a teammate, he

After passing, the #1 moves through the key to the back-side wing spot, that was originally held by #2. (Remember, when the point guard commits, the backside guard, #2 here, moves into the point guard position, near the top of the key.) #1 should be ready for a "give and go" (a pass back to him), as he passes through the key to the wing position.

The backside post is to establish a strong rebounding position on the back side post ("back door"), but if the playside post needs help or he sees an opening on the playside post position, he can temporarily move there. If the backside post moves to the playside for help, the backside wing (now #1 in this case) moves to the back door.

If we're not able to get an open shot, we can bring the ball back out and start all over ("balance the floor"), this time with the newly established point guard at the top. So now #2 finds himself handling the point and #1 finds himself taking the wing position.

Once we have some command of the basic concepts, movements and techniques, we can add more derivations. One simple one that we will use is, "Flash," in which a designated posted sprints up to the elbow of the key to set up a pick or take a quick pass.

We need to work on passing the ball, keeping it moving until we find the open player. Be patient, if the defense prevents a smart shot, we can work the ball back to the top and start over (time permitting). And remember, except for the point guard, who is supposed to prevent the other team from making a "fast break" if they get the ball, everybody must collapse on the ball once it is shot and REBOUND!