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Creating 5-on-4 Situations

Creating 5-on-4 Situations

Most coaches agree that if you can create more 5-on-4 situations than your opponent, then you stand a better chance of winning.

At the same time, wouldn’t it be nice to simplify your offensive goal for your team? Have you ever had players ask you, “Coach, why are we Passing, Cutting, Dribbling-A,t and Feeding the Post and Cutting?” (Layers 1-3)

Here’s your answer: “We are trying to create 5-on-4 situations.”

Isn’t that the essence of 1-on-1? If I can get around my defender, then I’ve created a 5-on-4 situation. The Read & React Offense is designed to get the maximum out of a 5-on-4 situation. For those who know what I’m talking about, consider Layers 4 and 5: Circle Movement and Basic Post Slides. But I don’t want to talk about what to do when the 5-on-4 is created, I want to look at creating the 5-on-4.

Layers 1-3 create a lot of Player Movement and Ball Movement with the majority of attention on spacing. One of the purposes of Layers 1-3 is to shake the defense out of their “helping” defensive positions in order to create true 1-on-1 situations like our Draft Drives. (Not 1-on-2 or 1-on-3. I don’t consider these to be true 1-on-1 cases).

Now, during this action that’s meant to set up a 1-on-1 (5-on-4), a few possibilities may open up:

  • One of the defenders steps over the Read Line for a backdoor
  • Catch a defender on a Give-and-Go, Front or Rear Cut
  • Create a back-door basket cut with a Dribble-At.

When the offensive player gets the ball on one of these basket cuts, it becomes a 5-on-4 situation!

You have the same offensive situation that you were trying to create with a standard 1-on-1 move. But most players don’t look at receiving the ball on a basket cut the way they view getting around their defender with a 1-on-1 move. They don’t view it as a 5-on-4 situation; however, it’s probably a cleaner 5-on-4 situation than the traditional 1-on-1-with-the-ball move.

Perhaps if you explain 5-on-4 situations to your players, and the two basic ways to create them (Driving 1-on-1 and Basket Cutting) they’ll know what they’re hunting for and they won’t view one of them as more desirable than the other.

Don’t hunt only for intelligent drives and don’t hunt only for cutting situations; look for both of them at the same time. They both create 5-on-4 situations.

1 Comment
  • larry@33
    Posted at 19:50h, 28 September Reply

    Thank you! Just what I needed to hear for my point guard who is having a hard time cutting.

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