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Basketball Motion Offenses

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

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General

Motion offenses teach players to "play the game" and learn how to read the defense. Motion offense is not a set, patterned offense like the Flex or Shuffle, although you can certainly run set plays with any motion offense. Motion offenses work well against man-to-man defense, and sometimes against certain zones.

Coach Bob Knight
Coach Bob Knight

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3-out, 2-in Motion Offense

This offense has good court balance with three perimeter players and two post players, and gives you both inside and outside presence. Good offensive rebounding possibilities.

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4-Out, 1-In Motion Offense

A good offense for teams with good outside perimeter players and shooters, and a shortage of true inside post players. Open up the lanes for dribble penetration, and get a lot of open 3-point shots. But you give up some inside presence and offensive rebounding.

Coach Jay Wright
Coach Jay Wright

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Dribble-Drive Motion Offense

The Dribble-Drive Motion Offense is a popular 4-out, perimeter-oriented offense, developed by Vance Walberg and adapted by John Calipari. It features guard dribble penetration and kick-out passes for 3-point shots.

John Calipari
John Calipari

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5-Out Open-Post Motion Offense

The 5-out "open post" offense is best for a team that has no strong inside post players, but has good perimeter players and shooters. Open up the lanes for dribble-penetration, and get a lot of open 3-point shots.

This offense creates problems for the defense when their "bigs" have to go away from the basket to defend on the perimeter. This is when you use your quickness to attack them off the dribble. You give up inside presence and offensive rebounding. You can also use this as a delay offense.

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basketball offense


Read and React Offense

Consider Rick Torbett's Read and React Offense for your entire program, starting with your youth teams and progressing up. It is very flexible, and adapts to any set (3-out, 4-out, and 5-out) or any style of play. It can be used against both man-to-man and zone defenses, and more importantly is a system for player and team development.

It is a great way of teaching offense as it is taught in "layers". The first two layers could be your young youth team's entire offense. Then each subsequent year, you can add another layer or two, so that by the time they are high school varsity players, all 17 layers are in place.

The Read and React offense teaches players "how to play", rather than running plays or patterns.

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