Motion Offense Basketball Fundamentals

Developing Your Team's Basketball Motion Offense
By Bob Starkey, Basketball Hoop Thoughts

Spacing Is Offense, Offense Is Spacing

For us to be able to feed the post, drive the basketball, and make the cuts necessary for good offensive execution, we must first have good spacing. For us, good spacing will be 15 to 18 feet apart from all of our offensive teammates. The only time the spacing should close from that distance is during screening situations.

[Related: Youth Basketball Playbook]

Communicate On All Screens

We want the player setting the screen to call out the name of the player she wants to screen. She should call out that player’s name before she takes her first step towards screening. The verbal call will also help the cutter know the screen is coming in advance and give her the necessary time to set up her defender for the cut off the screen.

Be Patient - Get Good Shots

Our offense will be best executed when we make three passes before taking a perimeter shot or making a penetrating drive off the dribble. Obviously if the defense breaks down and an open jumper for a good shooter or a drive to the lane comes open, we want to take advantage of it. But until three passes are made, we should let the offense come to us.

We Want A High Post Touch At Least Every Three Passes

By making a pass to the high post, it allows us to place maximum pressure on the defense and gives us a chance for a penetrating pass or ball reversal. It is also an excellent time to have two perimeter players screen for each other.

Move With A Purpose

You should base your movement on what is best for our offense at that particular moment. You might need to screen might need to cut off of a might need to use another type of cut...but you must move, and it must be with a purpose. Don’t mistake activity for achievement. See the floor and what is happening around you. Don’t get caught watching the basketball. Know who your shooters are and set screens for them or look to pass to them as they become open.

Never Cut Into An Occupied Area

We never want to cut to an area where a teammate is already stationed. If a player is already in that area or a player has just started to cut to that area, we want to make a choice that will not allow us to flood an area. This goes back to the importance of spacing. It should be nothing more than common sense to tell us that cutting into an occupied area can be disruptive to what we are trying to accomplish with our offense.

Receiving The Ball, Face The Basket For A Two Count

Once you receive the basketball, you should turn and face the basket and utilize a low-ball transfer. Being strong with the basketball, you should hold the ball for at least a two count. This allows you the time to see what is happening on the floor. You should especially be aware of what the passer has done in terms of movement as they will become a screener or a cutter once passing the ball.

Utilize The V-Cut

It may seem like a small part of the offense but it is very essential. We want to be “hard to guard.” To do this, we must always set our defender up and by using the v-cut. Part of the v-cut is the proper cutting angle along with the timing necessary to get open. Use change of speeds on the v-cut with a slower movement to begin the cut and a more explosive movement to finish the cut.

Louisiana State Lady Tigers' coach Bob Starkey
Coach Bob Starkey prepares his team for the women's 2007 NCAA Final Four

Coach Bob Starkey
Bob Starkey is one of the top minds in all of women's college basketball. His latest project is a Basketball Coaching Series of books that include The Art of Being An Assistant Coach, The Art of Scouting and The Art of Motivation.
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