Newsletter #205

January 20, 2021

Today's Quote:  "Basketball is like war in that offensive weapons are developed first, and it always takes a while for the defense to catch up." - Red Auerbach


Today's Theme:  Simple Slam Motion Offense

The "Slam" offense is a simple approach to motion offense (from Dutch coach Robert de Wit) and a good tool for teaching inexperienced players and coaches.  It's nothing new, the concepts being the same as any motion offense, but put into a simple format for easier learning.

It is 4-out with one post player.  The post player can start at the high post or either low block.  Actions can be initiated in two ways: (1) by the perimeter players, or (2) by the post player.

Option 1 - actions initiated by the perimeter players.  The basic rule is that whenever a pass is made, the passer either cuts or screens, while the other players react to these actions, maintaining spacing.

Screening options after passing:

  • Screen-away (e.g. point screens for weakside wing).
  • Up-screen or flare-screen (e.g. wing screens for point).
  • Down-screen.
  • Ball-screen (follow the pass and pick and roll).
  • Hand-off (follow the pass and get hand-off).

Cutting options after passing:

  • Pass and basket cut / Give and go.
  • Pass to the post and relocate on the 3-point line (e.g. wing slide to corner).
  • Laker cut either over or under post player.
  • Down-screen for the post and exchange.
  • Dive and Replace (post exchange without screen).

Option 2 - actions initiated by post player

When the ball is passed on the perimeter, instead of the passer cutting or screening, the post player initiates the action and does one of the following things, while other players react to O5's actions.

Post player options after a pass:

  • Back-screen (for a perimeter player).
  • Ball-screen (pick and roll).
  • Post-up (e.g on a pass to the wing).
  • Flash cut to high post.

Options for perimeter players without the ball


  • Fill open spots.
  • Relocate: Lift (move up the arc) / drift (move down the arc).
  • Cut / Backdoor.
  • Cut and fill (cut through and fill an open spot on the perimeter).
  • Cut through and back-screen out.

As you can see, the "Slam" motion offense is really nothing new, but simplifies things. I like the way the actions are initiated either by the perimeter players, or the post player - to mix things up a bit.

See this article for diagrams and more details:  Slam Motion Offense

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