Basketball Offense - Selecting Your Press Offense(s)By Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook... lots of great basketball stuff. Come on - join us!
Transition, Uptempo and Press Offenses
Press OffensePress offense is part of the larger topic "Transition Offense". See "Attacking the Full-Court Press", which discusses important principles common to attacking any press defense. Also see coach Ari Fisher's article on uptempo basketball - Concepts for Playing Fast - Score Early and Often.
Your team must have an offense(s) for countering a defensive full-court, 3/4-court, or half-court press. Without a plan, your team will become confused, frustrated, will panic, turn the ball over, and allow the opponent easy transition lay-ups.
On the other hand, if your players stay calm and have confidence in your plan of attack, you can burn the press and get easy lay-ups of your own. We actually like it when teams press us, and look at it as an opportunity to get a 2-on-1 situation and a lay-up (or free-throws). But you must have a plan and practice it... be prepared.
Good scouting helps... if you know in advance what type of press your opponent uses, you can prepare for it. During the game, you or your assistant(s) should focus on the press set-up... are they man-to-man (or match-up), or are they is a set zone pattern? Is the press full-court, 3/4 or 1/2 court? Do they deny, allow or trap the first pass? Do they force sideline or to the middle?
These are all things that will help you as the coach to make proper offensive adjustments. Remember that after the first pass or first dribble-attack, most press defenses are very much the same, and if you can attack one, you can have success against any press defense.
There are three catgories of presses based on the area of the court being pressured... full-court, 3/4-court and half-court presses. Have a plan to counter each type of press.
Specific Press Offenses
- 80-60-40 Press-Breakers... this has everything you need. "80" - for full-court presses. "60" - for 3/4-court presses. "40" - for half-court presses.
- Teaching Basketball by Progression
- Simple Press-Breaker... this is a simplified version of the "80" press break above.
- Flood Press Breaker... used by Coach Bob Hurley vs the 1-2-1-1 press.
- Attacking the Full-Court Man-to-Man Press... from Coach Joao Costa... attacking man-to-man and match-up press defenses.
- 4-Across Press-Breaker... the 4-across press-break is a favorite of many coaches.
- 3-Up Press-Breaker... another effective press break.
- 1-2-1-1 Diamond Press-Breaker... another way of attacking the full-court 1-2-1-1 press.
- 2-2-1 Press-Breaker... another way of attacking the 3/4-court 2-2-1 press.
- Specific Half-Court Press-Breakers... several half-court press breakers are discussed, but to keep things simple, all you really need is the "40" press-breaker above.
Secondary BreaksIn addition to having a press offense(s), if you like to run and get easy baskets in transition, then you should have a secondary break for getting the ball up the floor quickly after a made basket or rebound. Below are three that you can choose from. I might suggest that if you like the 80-60-40 press-breakers described above, then the secondary numbered break would probably be your best choice, since your players run the same routes in both the numbered break and the press offenses, and this makes it easy to learn both.
- Secondary Numbered Break... five numbered options and works well with the "80" and "60" press-breaks.
- Secondary Break... this is a another secondary break that we have used, and it works well with a lot of options.
- Coach Sar's Secondary Break... Coach Ken Sartini used this break with his high-school teams in the Chicago area.
- 3-Up Secondary Break... a secondary break with a Princeton-style look.
In summary, be prepared for pressure, trapping defenses anywhere on the court. Spend some time developing your press offense and secondary break. This will pay dividends in fewer turnovers against pressure and you will get some easy lay-ups.
Mike Krzyzewski: Duke Basketball - Breaking the Press
with Mike Krzyzewski "Coach K", Duke University Head Men's Basketball Coach; 12X NABC "Coach of the Year," Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Beating Full Court Pressure and Match-Up Zone Defense
with Dave Odom, former Head Coach at the University of South Carolina and Wake Forest.
Fred Hoiberg: Transition Basketball with Six Secondary Break Sets
with Fred Hoiberg, Chicago Bulls head coach, former Iowa State University Head Coach.
Secrets of the North Carolina Secondary Break
By Roy Williams, University of North Carolina Head Coach, 4X Time National Coach of the Year.
Roy Williams: Tar Heel Offense & Transition Drills
with Roy Williams, University of North Carolina Head Coach.
Tom Izzo: The Numbered Fastbreak
with Tom Izzo, Michigan State University Head Coach.
Billy Donovan: The Unstoppable Transition Game
with Billy Donovan, former University of Florida Head Coach; head coach Oklahoma City Thunder.