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Basketball Offense - Attacking "Junk" (Combination) Defenses

From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net

Junk, or combination, defenses feature one or two defenders playing tight man-to-man denial defense on your best player(s), while the remaining defenders play a zone. These defenses are usually used against teams with one or two star perimeter players. Examples are the "box-and-1", the "triangle-and-2", the "diamond-and-1", the "1-3 and a chaser", and others.

In attacking these defenses, if you want to keep things very simple... some coaches simply advise using your favorite zone offense vs box-and-1 defenses, and your regular man-to-man offense vs the triangle-and-2 defense. Here, we'll discuss the "BB-offense" ("Big-Blocker") that can be used against most of these defenses. Also see "Attacking the Box and 1 Defense" (more specific X's-and-O's)

The "Big-Blocker Offense" (BB-Offense)

The "big-blocker" offense uses a big post player ("BB") set at the high-post (free-throw line) area. He/she acts mainly as a screener for our star perimeter players that we want to get open. But if nobody guards the "BB", he/she could be a scorer as well.

"BB-Offense" Vs the Triangle-and-2 Defense

See diagram A below. Here we are assuming that our two best offensive players are perimeter players O2 and O3 (but it could also be O1). We place our two star players on each wing, and our third perimeter player, here O1, at the point. Our "BB" (O5) is at the high-post and O4 is on the baseline. You can see that the defense is in a "triangle" zone created by X1, X4 and X5, while X2 and X3 are playing O2 and O3 tight man-to-man, trying to deny the pass.

O1 dribbles a little to one side, trying to make the top defender guard him. The ball-side wing player slides down a little toward the corner. Meanwhile, O5 screens the X2 defender. O2 comes around the "BB screen" for the pass from O1 and a wide open jump-shot at, or just inside, the free-throw line (diagram B). Notice that O4 will duck under the low defender for a possible pass inside. We can run this to either side, getting pull-up jump-shots for either O2 or O3. If the X4 defender starts to "cheat up" to defend this jump-shot... after screening, O5 seals and back-door cuts to the hoop for the pass from the jump-shooter.

If O1 is a good shooter, see diagram C. Have both wing players slide down to the corners, creating a 2-on-1 situation at the top with X1 having to guard both O5 and O1. If O5 is a good shooter, O1 could simply pass to O5 for a shot. Or, O1 engages X1 with dribble and then O5 back-screens X1. X1 dribbles around the screen for an open shot.

Triangle-and-2 offense

"BB-Offense" Vs the 1-3 and a Chaser Defense

See diagram A. Here the defense keeps three defenders low inside (like in a 2-3 zone defense), to clog the paint against your post players, while defending your best perimeter player O2 with tight man-to-man defense. They place a good athletic defender X1 in the middle at the top, who tries to contain your remaining two perimeter players (O1 and O3).

Once again, O5 is at the high post (diagram A). O1 dribbles opposite our star O2 and engages the top defender, as O3 slides down toward the corner. O5 screens X2, and O2 comes around the screen for the pass from O1, and the pull-up jump-shot at, or just inside, the free-throw line (diagram B). Once again O4 cuts inside underneath for a possible pass.

1-3 and a chaser offense

"BB-Offense" Vs the Box-and-1 Defense


Box-and-1 offense
With the box-and-1, the defense puts a defender (X2) tight on our best player O2, while the four remaining defenders set up in a "box" zone with X4 and X5 on the low blocks and X1 and X3 at the elbows.

Here, we have our "BB" O5 set up along the lane, same side as O2. O1 engages the top defender on O2's side, as O2 slides down half-way to the corner. O5 back-screens X2, and O2 cuts around the screen (either above or below the screen, depending on where the X2 defender is), cuts into the middle of the box for a pass and pull-up jump-shot.

O4 again ducks inside underneath for a possible pass. If the X4 defender comes up to defend O2, O5 seals X2 and back-cuts to the hoop for the pass from O2 (or a high lob directly from O1).

Also see "Attacking the Box and 1 Defense" (more specific X's-and-O's)

"BB-Offense" Vs the Diamond-and-1 Defense

With the diamond-and-1, the defense puts a defender (X2) tight on our best player O2, while the four remaining defenders set up in a "diamond" zone as seen in diagram A below.

Once again, we put O5 at the high post (diagram A). O3 cuts along the baseline to the corner on the same side as O2. O1 dribbles a little opposite O2 and engages the top defender X1, and passes to O5. In this offense, we use our "BB" O5 as a passer. O4 steps inside and tries to post-up the low defender for a quick "hi-lo" pass from O5. If the pass is not there, O4 drops back to the block opposite O2.

O3 comes up and back-screens X2 (diagram B), freeing up O2 for a pass from O5. O2 can shoot the outside shot, or dribble-penetrate for a lay-up, or a dump pass to O4 (diagram C).

Diamond-and-1 offense

So you can see the "BB-Offense" is flexible and should work well against most junk defenses.


Related pages: Attacking the Box and 1 Defense, Junk Defenses