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Read & React Offense: How to Use Situations to Attack Competent Defenses

Read & React Offense Basketball Pick and Roll

I define a “situation” as an offensive action that engages two or more defenders simultaneously. For example, most screening actions create situations, an attacking drive generates a situation, and many times just feeding a competent post player instigates a situation.

If your opponent lacks cohesion as a defensive unit, a single situation may be enough to break them open for a score. The reality, though, is that most defensive teams are better coached and more prepared: they are capable of helping and recovering as well as double-teaming and rotating back without giving up a scoring opportunity.

Read & React Offense Basketball Pick and Roll

But, just because a team can handle one situation doesn’t mean they can handle two or three in a row, or even two or three simultaneously.

Set this as a goal for your Read & React team (especially when you come up against better defensive teams): every possession, force the defense to handle more than one situation back to back or at the same time.

Below are a couple of examples of how you can do that.

Read & React Offensive Situations in a Row

Example 1: Feed the post, set a Pin Screen on the weak side, have the post skip the ball. That’s two situations in a row: the defense must handle the post feed and navigate a Pin & Skip in quick succession.

Example 2: Drive and pitch; screen the ball; then pass, cut, and set a screen for the post. Now the defense must help and recover on the drive; hedge, switch, or whatever they do against a pick and roll; and navigate a screen away from the ball in a “big-little” scenario. That’s at least three situations and will potentially create a couple more.

Even something as seemingly simple as two Pin & Skips in a row works. Or, two drive and pitches. The options are really endless and up to your team’s creativity and experience.

Read & React Offensive Situations at the Same Time

Example 1: Every time your post player deliberately posts up and asks for the ball, set a Pin & Skip on the other side of the floor, especially if the defensive strategy revolves around double-teaming the post. This forces the defense to decide which is more important: stopping the post feed or defending the Pin & Skip. Sure, they may be able to stop one, but can they stop both?

Example 2: Use an X-Cut after a post feed. That’s a simple way to generate simultaneous situations – the East/West screen with the ball in post. And, there’s going to be a basket cut coming along as well. Throw in a Pin screen on the opposite side of the floor and you have three or four simultaneous situations. That’s tough to defend.

When you’re trying to kill a snake that wants to bite you, throwing one rock at a time will preserve your supply of rocks but you might run out of time before you hit it. Why not throw a handful of rocks at one time? The odds of hitting the snake goes up dramatically!

It’s not a perfect analogy, but you get the point. One situation per possession is not enough to take down a good defensive opponent.


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about rick torbett

Rick Torbett has taught thousands of coaches to win more games through his innovative approach to the game. He has created powerful training for coaches at any level so they can coach their best and win more games.

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Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

Enter your email address to get an inside look at teaching the Read & React Offense with the drills in this free video.