If you understand the game, you have an advantage to create a technical philosophy. Let' start to ask you:
1. What is the game?The game must be seen as the combination of three different levels:
- The individual level, where the player plays alone against his opponent, with or without the ball. This level is referred to the individual fundamentals.
- The collaboration level, when the player plays with one or two teammates against their opponents (pass and go, screen, outside/inside play, etc.).
- The collective level, which expresses the identity of a team, his use of space, time and ball.
To these three levels you need to add when and where a players moves, the aggressive offense, which creates a scoring opportunity, and, at the end, the skill of shooting with a good percentage. This is a basketball game, from an offensive standpoint.
2. Ball, time, and space form the game
A good opportunity is when you have or create an advantage, and the essence of the offesnive game is to find a good opportunity.
For reaching this goal, the players must look and decide. They must use all the three described levels to create and take advantage of a defense out of balance, with the target to score and/or causing a defensive foul.
The advantage we can create is not the same at the beginning or at the end of offense, so it is better to create a very good opportunity at the beginning. If we see that that opportunity it's not so good, we will work to find and create a better opportunity. In short, the game is based on these situations:
- The opportunity is good enough for scoring, therefore we have an advantage, so we shoot or drive.
- The opportunity is not good enough for scoring, therefore we don’t really have an advantage.
- There is not an opportunity, but we create the advantage.
3. How to develop tactical sense?
First, the player must look and find the more simple advantages in the game, and the young players must learn basketball learning to recognize the advantage. For example, they learn to receive and to face the rim, and then to look which is the best way to go to the basket:
- If a temmate near him is free, he passes the ball on the open teammate.
- If he is free, he drives, shoots, or passes.
- When there are not these possibilities, he changes, and passes the ball to the other teammates.
Second, the players must decide which is the best solution depending on the play. The coach can help his players, giving them the priorities. At INSEP we have choose these priorities:
- Create the advantage with the fast- break (all the team must run and pass the ball).
- Create the advantage with the transition with:
- Playing inside and spacing.
- Using the reversal passes and screening.
4. Create advantage. For reaching this aim it's necessary for the offense:
- To be continue.
- To use all the space (widthwise, depth).
Good spacing creates problems to the defenders, not only because the offense has changes to more easy oneon- ones, but also makes difficult the helps and the traps. Then, the continuity of play increases the advantage. To create an advantage, we must have in mind these priorities.
- First, run the fast break: beat the defense by running.
- Then, run the secondary fastbreak or transition.
After these premises, I would like to describe my transition philosophy.
The first aim is to play inside with the first big man, who reaches the offensive basket. That's very important! The guard with the ball must set himself at 45° angle, look inside and play with the first big man, or fake the pass. The playmaker cuts to the rim, and goes out to the other side of the lane, near the block (diagr.1).
When 4 cannot receive inside, steps outside and receive the ball, the play is run in this way. Player 5 flashes inside, then 2 cuts to the high post. 1, who goes outside, and 3 are our options for outside plays (diagr. 2).
When playing down low near the paint, it’s better for 4 to turn out. He creates spaces from his defender, can see all the players, and can now make good decisions (diagr. 3).
If 2 can't give the ball to 4, we split. Player 5 makes a screen for the small forward, 3, and cuts to the middle of the paint (diagr. 4). If 3 flashes to the rim, 5 gets out (diagr. 5).
In this particular case, 3 gets out and 5 gets inside. The aim is "pass the ball to the center." For that reason, 1 must be alone and set at a 45° angle so he makes contact with his defender to put him on his back, and then pops out. At the same time, 5 gets the contact with his defender to be free in the paint near the basket (diagr. 6). Front pivoting, 1 turns out to see all the players and creating space from his defender. He must now decide if driving aggressively to the rim or passing, or dribbling to the middle of the court and wait for a pick (diagr. 7). If the teammate inside is free, 1 passes the ball him (diagr. 8), if not, 1 must be aggressive with the ball. He can drive to the baseline (diagr. 9), or drive to the middle (diagr. 10), the teammates rotates for providing him larger spaces and passing lanes. If 1 can't drive or pass, the rest of the team plays without the ball. If 1 dribbles to the middle, 5 goes out of the paint, 2 receives a 4's screen and cuts in the lane, and 3 goes away (diagr. 11). When we play pick-and-roll, the others players create the maximum of space, so 5 can pick on the ball and quickly roll to the rim (diagr. 12). Player 1 has three options (diagr. 13):
- Play directly with 5.
- Play with 2 or 4, who can give the ball to 5, who sprints to the basket.
When we can't do this, 4 plays with 3: he drives toward 3, who sprints to the ball, and 4 gets him the ball with a hand off pass (diagr. 14). Player 3 drives, forcing the defenders to open up the spaces, providing the good solution: shoot himself or pass to 4, who has rolled to the basket (diagr. 15). When 1's defender covers him face to face, 1 is screened by 5 and then cuts outside on the perimeter, while 3 drives to the opposite wing area. the same time, 4 flashes to the high post (diagr. 16). Player 3 selects the best option: pass inside or outside (diagr. 17). Once 1 gets the ball, 4 makes a pick on the ball, while the other players spread out, so there is enough room to shoot or make another pass (diagr. 18). Going back to the initial screen of 5 for 3 (see diagr. 5), when 3 cuts to the rim after the screen of 5, and 5 gets out (diagr. 19), 2 can also play with 4, who opens up after the screen for 3, with 3, who gets out of the paint (diagr. 20), or play with 5, who dribbles toward , and makes a hand off pass to him (diagr. 21). Then, we will play in a similar way with proper spacing, good timing and attacking aggressively the rim (diagr. 22).