Create an Advantage & Turn it into a High Value Shot
Create an advantage and turn it into a high value shot. It’s a really simple phrase that can help paint a broad picture for a team on the overarching approach to playing offensive basketball. In some manner every team is striving to create an advantage on offense that leads to a high value shot. What a high value shot is may be slightly different team to team and even player to player, but ultimately no coach is telling their team to hunt bad shots that are low percentage and ultimately low value. What will differ team to team and many times possession to possession, however, is the ways in which a team attempts to create an advantage.
Some teams prefer to create an advantage in transition where others may be more comfortable using their half-court offense. This could vary game to game based on an opponent or could also vary based a made or missed shot by an opponent. Depending on the coach and the ability of the players, some offenses may have a higher usage of post play, ball screens, off-ball screens, dribble drive, or handoffs. Regardless of the identity an offense takes on, what’s important is that the offense understands how their actions create an advantage and then are able to recognize and use that advantage to create a high value shot.
Advantages for the offense can come in the form of two players on defense committing to the ball, a closeout or mismatch situation, or a pure numbers advantage where the offense has more players in position to score than the defense has to protect their basket. Another simple way we look at advantage basketball is that the defense is not in their ideal shell w/ ideal matchups; we’ve forced them into some type of disadvantageous positioning or rotation.
When we get the advantage our main principles to keep the advantage and turn it into a high value shot include maintaining spacing and playing w/ a 0.5 mentality. We want players spaced high and wide and catching to shoot, reacting to drive or pass.
Here are three clips of our team creating an advantage through a ball screen, dribble penetration, and a ghost screen. You can see the maintenance of spacing and the 0.5 mentality once that advantage has been created.
Here are some clips of the Utah Jazz playing out of an advantage. You will see a variety of different ways that the advantage is created on each possession (dribble penetration, ball screens, off-ball screens), but you can see when the advantage is created they recognize it and play 0.5 basketball w/ an incredible maintenance of spacing.
Overall, this is not a complicated or an elaborate concept, but having worked with so many teams and coaches- there often times is a lack of clarity on many items discussed in this post. It could be as simple as the players and coaches being so wrapped up on the pattern of an offense that they forget what that offense is ultimately for and what they’re trying to create. It can also be a lack of recognition when an advantage has been created or a lack of understanding on the general principles that the offense plays with when that advantage has been created. The more clarity coaches can bring to their players, the more connected their team will be.
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