Better Basketball logo

When One Cut Isn’t Enough: Forcing the Defense into Situations

In a previous post, we talked about using Trigger Actions as a training mechanism in the Read & React Offense. The first couple of minutes of the video below is the perfect example of using a post feed as a trigger action.

But, the meat of the video (and the point of this post) deals with training your team to attack high level defensive teams particularly now as you come closer to post season.

This is an excerpt from our newest DVD series, Read & React Clinics: Planning the R&R Practice. It breaks down exactly how to implement the Read & React in a basketball practice setting from the pre-season all the way into the post season.

As you encounter better defensive teams (especially toward the end of your season when defenses have had time to improve and scout), you’ll be less and less effective with just single actions and reactions.

The dribble penetration circle move won’t be enough to break down the defense anymore by itself. You won’t get boatloads of wide open basket cut lay-ups. I know it’s painful to admit.

You’re team will get frustrated. And, many times, frustrated teams take bad shots.

So, in practice, it’s important to emphasize what will be required of your team to take down better defenses.

What is required exactly? Well, your team must be able to use combinations of actions to force the defense into handling situations.

A situation is any action or set of actions that requires special attention by the defense. For example, a situation demands a help, switch, and rotate. Or, a double team. Situations take defenders out of their comfortable positions and force them into doing something uncomfortable.

Even one situation may not be enough to exploit really good defense. In those cases, your team may have to sequence several situations together before an opening appears. Maybe you’re facing a defense that is great at helping, switching, and recovering. But, can they do it three times in a row? Can they handle a ball screen immediately followed by a pin screen?

Maybe the more important question is can your offense do those things? If not, now is the time to change that.

PS: What are the levels of defense? Rick covers that at the very end of the video, but here are two posts that will help with that as well: Countering the Four Levels of Defense, Levels 1 & 2, Countering the Four Levels of Defense, Levels 3 & 4.


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.


Become a More Confident Shooter

From our friends at PGC Basketball — PGC’s Shooting Specialist shares 3 FREE video trainings for scoring more points & getting more playing time!  Enter your email to get started.



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.

Follow Us

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.