One of the most important skills an offense can possess is knowing how to properly attack a zone defense. The following three tips will put you in a position to continuously threaten the zone and keep the defense scrambling.
Reminder: Quick ball movement isn’t necessarily as important as moving the ball to the most dangerous spots.
1) Engage Two Defenders (E2)
If you can occupy two defenders, the offense immediately gains a 4-on-3 advantage.
Think of it as “engaging” two defenders instead of “marrying” them. By being engaged, you can still get the ball to one of your teammates. Once “married,” your options are cut off by defensive pressure and you can no longer exploit the advantage.
Also remember, you need to be prepared to make the pass before the defenders can gain control of the situation.
2) Form Triangles
Most players stand in one spot, but good players know to make an equilateral triangle by standing between two defenders.
This puts you in a position of strength, because both defenders will be forced to come forward.
The effect will be a zone scrambling to guard each pass, making it harder for them to communicate and close out.
3)Puncture The Middle
By puncturing the middle of the zone, you’re able to obtain one of three possible outcomes:
- A great shot for yourself.
- A great drop-off to a teammate in the post.
- A kickout to an open teammate.
Make sure to puncture as opposed to trimming edges and, if you can, go after the rim protector (a guard can screen him to allow a teammate to flash to the middle).
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