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Motion Games


We recognize year in and year out our personnel will vary in size, strength, speed and skills. With that said it is important we have the ability to adapt our offense to our most productive line-ups. This does not mean we change our system, but basically our sets. For example, if we had the advantage of two skilled “bigs” on our roster we would want to have both of them on the floor at the same time. To do this we would balance the floor with three perimeter players and two inside players. Most often we function with four perimeter players around one inside player. There are also times when we are most efficient with our five best players on the floor. This five out, positionless concept is also the set we encourage all of our youth programs to implement. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Too often a player is marked as a “big” early in his adolescents only to stop growing by his freshman year. By this time his skill level is lagging behind the others and the transition back to the perimeter is insurmountable. If you are a youth coach, the greatest service you can do for your players is to teach them the fundamentals of the game and allow everybody to play inside and out. Our best teams have always been made up of highly skilled players who could do it all.


General Rules

Because motion basketball is not a set pattern, it does require some general rules that compliment our motion principles:

  1. Maintain proper floor balance and spacing by filling our motion spots. Carry all cuts to the rim and then away from the ball, outside the arc.

  2. Change the ball from the first side to the second side back to the third side. Make the defense work to guard the ball.

  3. Get the ball inside! Do not cast up the "first-pass" shot without a good "inside-outside" attack (“3rd/4th side-inside” emphasis).

  4. Break down the defense. Be patient and give them time to make a mistake.

  5. Dribble with a purpose: to advance the ball, to escape from trouble, to improve a passing angle, or to create a shot.

  6. Be greedy receivers and show your numbers to the ball. Meet the ball with a target hand (outside), and then ball sweep into the triple-threat position (RPA).

  7. Hold the ball for two counts (no more or no less unless "click" passing).

  8. Move your mass! Cut with purpose. When you can't get open, get a teammate open. Be a great teammate!

  9. Follow your shot after you shoot (unless you are responsible for protecting back).

  10. If you commit a turnover you should be the first to react and get back. Do not compound your mistake.


Three-Game | 3 Out & 2 In

For the team with two or more highly skilled “bigs”, this is a very common set. The point guard (#1), shooting guard (#2), and small forward (#3) remain on the perimeter; and the power forward (#4) and center (#5) occupy the paint inside. This is commonly referred to as "3 out / 2 in". Key teaching points:

  1. Point guard must favor a side and get to the “entry line”.

  2. Wings are encouraged to play hard to guard (V-cut), feed the post, and/or draw and kick.

  3. Postmen “exchange” (cross screen) and create high-low opportunities. Anytime the ball moves toward a postman, he should try to screen for his buddy. The high post may also have to step out and help facilitate the ball swing.

Four-Game | 4 Out & 1 In

In order to spread the floor and create the best possible spacing, a two-guard offense makes the most sense. The point guard (#1) and shooting guard (#2) “square the top”. The small forward (#3) and power forward (#4) fill the wings. Meanwhile, the center (#5) plays inside. This is commonly referred to as "4 out / 1 in". Key teaching points:

  1. The center most often fills the “landmark”. He might also start high when the ball is high or flash high as a pressure release. We like to say, “ball high / post high”.

  2. Perimeter movements after passing are one of the following: basket cut (choice cut), screen away or down screen and/or flare cut.

  3. Always maintain proper spacing and floor balance. You can never be too high or too wide.


Five-Game | 5 Out

There are also line ups that favor all five players occupying the perimeter as well as the paint. This is commonly referred to as "5 out". Key teaching points:

  1. Spread the floor (high and wide), exploit the defense with dribble penetration and cut to the basket often (give and go). We are always looking to put pressure on the rim.

  2. The primary screening objective is what we call a "middle screen". If the initial basket cut is taken away, screen away and again emphasize a cut to the rim.

  3. Mismatches in the paint should be taken advantage with the “GOGO” principle in mind: Get Open or Get Out!​​


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Coach's Corner

S.A.M: Spacing is offense; offense is spacing. Big Spacing! Angles refers to cutting, sealing and passing. Angle wisely. Momentum is change of speed. It works both ways—offense and defense.

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