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Read and React Offense Breakdown Drills

By Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook... lots of great basketball stuff. Come on - join today.

Watch this preview and see what coaches at all levels are saying about the Read and React.



First see "Notes on the Read and React Offense".

This article presents two and three-player breakdown drills for teaching Rick Torbett's Read and React offense. To run the offense effectively, players must be conditioned to instantly read the defense and react correctly. These drills help make their actions more automatic. Their reactions must become so ingrained that they become "habits" - something they automatically do without thinking about it.

Dribble Penetrate, Circle Motion and Passing

Diagram 1 shows O1 dribble-penetrating into the right seam. O2 then rotates right and receives the kick-out pass from O1 for the shot.

Diagram 2 shows O2 in the corner. As O1 penetrates, O2 basket cuts and gets the pass from O1. Notice that in a game setting, O2 would cut all the way to the opposite corner if the pass is not there.

Read and React offense - dribble penetration, circle movement Read and React offense - dribble penetration, circle movement

Diagram 3 shows O2's wing penetration to the left, which triggers O4 to cut baseline for the pass from O2. Again, if the pass is not open, O4 would go to the opposite (right) corner.

Diagram 4 shows O2 dribble-penetrating baseline, which triggers O3 to rotate right to O2's vacated spot. O2 makes a jump-stop and reverse pivot, and the "safety valve" pass back to O3 for a shot.

Read and React offense - dribble penetration, circle movement baseline Read and React offense - dribble penetration, safety valve pass

Baseline Dribble and Passing

There are four basic passing options with a baseline dribble-drive... the opposite corner pass, the "90-degree pass", the "45-degree pass", and the safety valve pass back to the corner he/she vacated.

Diagram 5 shows the pass to the opposite corner. Notice that the opposite wing player rotates down to the corner on the baseline dribble-drive.

Read and React offense - baseline dribble penetration, pass to opposite corner

Diagram 9 shows the 90-degree pass. Notice that the opposite wing player O3 rotates to the 90-degree spot on the baseline dribble-drive, for the pass and shot.

Diagram 10 shows the 45-degree pass from the baseline dribble-drive. O3 rotates to the 45-degree spot on the baseline dribble-drive.

Read and React offense - baseline dribble penetration, pass to 90-degree Read and React offense - baseline dribble penetration, pass to 45-degree

3-Person Drills

With three-person drills, we combine options. Diagram 6 shows O1 attacking the right seam. This triggers O2 to rotate right for a pass, and O3 to also rotate right to the safety valve spot. O1 could pass to either.

Diagram 7 starts with receivers on the wing and in the corner. O1's dribble-drive triggers O2 to rotate right and O4 to baseline cut (to the opposite corner if not open). O1 passes to either for a shot.

Read and React offense - corner or safety valve pass Read and React offense - corner or baseline pass

You can also start the dribble-drive from either wing for additional three-player actions. Diagram 8 shows O3's dribble-drive to the lane, which triggers O4's baseline cut and O2's cut to the right corner. O3 passes to either.

Read and React offense - wing drive - corner or baseline pass

Front-cuts, Back-cuts

"Give and Go".
Diagram 11 shows a basic give and go, front-cut option. O1 passes to O2, fakes left and front-cuts to the hoop expecting a pass from O2.

Diagram 12 shows the give and go, front cut from the wing. O2 passes to O1, fakes baseline and cuts left for the pass from O1.

Read and React offense - top front-cut Read and React offense - wing front cut

"Backcuts".
Diagram 13 shows O1 passes to O2, but since X1 is overplaying and denying the front-cut, O1 backcuts for a pass from O2.

Diagram 14 shows the same thing from the wing. O2 passes to O1, fakes the front-cut and back-cuts for the pass from O1.

Read and React offense - top back-cut Read and React offense - wing  backcut

Backcuts can come off of a normal circle movement rotation when the defender is overplaying and denying the pass. Diagram 15 shows O3 rotating to the top, but denied by X3, so O3 back-cuts for the pass from O2.

Diagram 16 again shows the same thing from the wing. O2 attempts rotation up to the wing but is denied by X2. O2 backcuts for the pass from O3.

Read and React offense - rotation top back-cut Read and React offense - wing rotation backcut

Dribble-At, Back-cut

When the ball is dribbled directly at you (on the perimeter), the correct reaction is to back-cut (unless you are running a dribble-at, hand-off play). Diagram 17 shows O3 dribbling toward O1. O1 vacates the spot by back-cutting and could get the pass from O3.

Diagram 18 shows O1 dribbling at O2, so O2 backcuts and could get the pass from O1.

Read and React offense - top dribble at, backcut Read and React offense - wing dribble at, backcut

Post Reactions to Dribble-Penetration

The basic rules for post players on dribble-penetration are:
1. If the dribble comes from baseline, the post slides up to elbow.
2. If the dribble comes from the top, the post moves to short corner
3. Rules 1 and 2 apply whether the post if ball-side or weak-side.

Diagram 19 shows O2 with a baseline dribble. O4 slides up to the ballside elbow for the "90-degree" pass and shot. Diagram 20 shows the same thing but with O4 starting on the opposite block and sliding up to the opposite elbow for the "45-degree" pass.

Read and React offense - post elbow slide Read and React offense - post elbow slide opposite

Diagram 21 shows O2 with a dribble to the lane (from the top). O4 moves to the ball-side short-corner for the pass and shot.

Diagram 22 shows a more advanced post cut, with a fake to the short-corner followed by a backcut into the lane. O3 drives topside from the wing. O4 fakes short-corner and backcuts for the pass.

Read and React offense - post short corner slide Read and React offense - post short corner backcut

Dribble Hand-off, Pick and Roll

This entails a communication signal or play call from the ball-handler, as normally when dribbled-at, you would backcut. Here in diagram 23, O1 dribbles at O2 and hand-offs to O2, while screening X2. O2 and O1 then run the pick and roll. Optionally, O2 could be open for a 3-point shot.

Read and React offense - pick and roll

Circle-Reverse

Diagram 24. When O1 dribble-drives, O2's normal reaction would be to slide to the corner. If O2 senses X2 is overplaying his corner slide, he/she can "circle reverse" and fake the cut to the corner and circle back up to the safety valve spot for the pass and shot.

Read and React offense - circle reverse

Back-screens

1. After any basket-cut, you can back-screen back out, and then pop out and spot up.
2. Back-screens are useful in correcting rotation errors... if a player circle rotates incorrectly to wrong side, he/she can correct his error by just back-screening then popping out.
3. You can also back-screen for the ball (ball-screen) and pick and roll.
4. Back-screener should call out the screened player's name.
5. By using back-screens, your offense can go from 3-out to 4-out, and from 4-out to 5-out in the same possession.

Diagram 25. O1 passes to O2 and cuts, but instead of cutting opposite, cuts to the ballside corner, already occupied by O4. O1 back-screens for O4 who cuts through, and could get a pass from O2.

Read and React offense - cut and back-screen

Post-Pass Cuts and Passing

After a perimeter player passes into post, he can make one of four cuts:
1. Laker cut baseline, below block (diagram AK)
2. Laker cut into top seam, above elbow (diagram AK)
3. Slide to corner (diagram AK)
4. X-cut... passer moves up and screens for top guy, seals and X-cuts to hoop (diagram AL)

Read and React offense - post pass cuts Read and React offense - post pass x-cut

Diagram 26 shows O2 passing to the low post O4, followed by a baseline Laker cut. Diagram 27 shows the post pass with the high Laker cut and pass.

Read and React offense - post pass Laker cut low Read and React offense - post pass Laker cut high

Diagram 28 shows O2 passing to the low post O4, followed by a relocation slide to the corner for the pass back and a shot. Diagram 29 shows the post pass followed by an "X-cut". After passing to O4, O2 screens for O1, but slips the screen and cuts to the hoop for the pass from O4.

Read and React offense - post pass corner slide Read and React offense - post pass X-cut

Pin and Skip

This involves a back-screen "pin" on the weakside followed by a skip pass. It works well against zones and man-to-man defenses.

Diagram 30 shows O5 back-screening the X3 defender. O3 cuts to the weakside corner for the skip-pass from O2. O3 has three options here... shoot the 3-pointer, shot fake and drive, or pass to the screener O5 posting up inside. Diagram 31 shows O3 pin-screening for O5, who cuts out to the corner for the skip pass.

Read and React offense - pin and skip Read and React offense - pin and skip



Watch Rick Torbett's video for team Read and React drills.



Related pages:

See Rick Torbett's Betterbasketball Read and React Offense for the complete package.


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