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.

3 Responses

  1. Coach Torbett:
    Good stuff. These are so “sound” and they definitely happen when an offense reads the defenseand has the other 4 guys on the court attacking them best on the defense’s dictations or reactions. Again, you have helped me immensely with the ideas from R & R.

  2. Great points, Rick! What I see most today as I watch games is that if the first option isn’t there in a set, the offense becomes bogged down and there is not enough options installed or teams resort to an iso or ballscreen and the other 3 or 4 players stand around and watch the ball.

    With the R &R you have plenty of rocks to throw at teams, that’s for sure…The adjustments and tweaks you can make to keep your opponent off balance is amazing..

    BTW, I am deathly afraid of snakes so I wouldn’t be throwing rocks, I would run and get the shotgun!!


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