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Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills
 

Offence
Dribble-drive basics


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Dribble-drive motion, get to the rim for layups, spacing and opening gaps are important. Key differences from conventional motion:

- 5 rim runs and goes weakside (open post), then stays opposite the ball on dribble penetration (clean up or relocate), allowing backdoor cuts from the corners
- rotate behind drives, attack downhill
- on a perimeter pass from a guard spot, the passer usually cuts to the other side of the floor.

Space the floor so the ballhandler has an open lane to the basket, move on penetration to create passing angles and make it hard for off-ball defenders to help and recover.

If a driver gets stopped, pass to a teammate then it's their turn. On a catch, shoot, or drive if you aren't a shooter, or pass and cut, or pass and flatten to the corner.

John Calipari - any player can try to beat their man, but not every player can do it, some are passers and cutters, some are shooters who look to drive if they are crowded.

Jerry Petitgoue - 5 is always opposite the ball.

Andrew Grantz - 5 can post for a 1-count then has to get opposite the ball.

George Karl - gaps offence - if you want to play fast, spacing is the first priority. Wings sprint to corners, a big runs to the rim then gets out of the way, get him underneath the defence.

Del Harris - 5 should rim run on the weakside for a better passing angle. If he gets to the ballside block and 2 stops on the wing, the only options 1 has are swing the ball or a transition ballscreen. First-side action must be clear-cut, otherwise swing the ball and look to attack.

Kevin Eastman - the best position to score is on the weakside, e.g. ready to post across, or a shooter whose defender is drawn in.

See Walberg, Calipari, Petitgoue, Bollant and Kentucky dribble-drive offences, also Fast break - 6-cycle dribble-drive, Tactics - Bollant dribble-drive, Dribble-drive continuity, Dribble-drive quick-swing.

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1) Dribble penetration

a) Kickup

1 drives the elbow area (drop zone) and jump (or stride) stops, 5 cleans up, 2 kicks up for a pass, 1 loops to the corner.

2 is patient, and runs the kickup only if X2 takes away a backcut.

Options

- weakside 3 drags up as 1 drives, then goes back to the corner
- 5 can duck in or come up to the weakside elbow (see Backdoor cut).

Vance Walberg - 1 is looking for 2 to go backdoor, 2 kicks up if X2 opens up to defend the backdoor.

Kentucky - they teach a stride stop. 2 sprints out to his X (foul-line extended) if X2 is playing flat, or goes backdoor if X2 is playing high, be low and late.

Mads Olesen - go backdoor if your defender is between you and the ball, or if in doubt, or on a pass fake, or on a dribble-at. The kickup is among the last things he would teach.

Calipari - 4 fills behind, the corners play opposite each other, 3 lifts weakside as soon as 1 starts to go, his man is going to help in. For a post-up, 1 drives to the elbow, skips it over the top to 3, 5 posts.

Kentucky - 3 comes out to his X when the ball is driven away from him, looking for a skip pass, which is a great way to post 5, automatic.

Petitgoue - 1 gets to the elbow, 2 comes up even with the ball (or higher), 3 drags up even with the ball, 4 holds.

Olesen - if 3 sets up low in the corner, he starts dragging up as soon as 1 drives away from him, looking for a pass from the drag zone, then goes back down if penetration stops early, in the drop zone.

Calipari - when 1 stops at the elbow now it's 5's game, he ducks in or can come up to the weakside elbow.
 
Greg Kampe - loop-fist - 1-2 kickup, 5 ballscreens for 2.

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If 2 drives middle, 5 relocates, 4 kicks back, 3 kicks up for a pass (or backcuts or stays in the corner), 2 exits cuts and replaces 3.

3 can move when 2 crosses the lane line, or when 2 gets to the middle, or when 2 stops.

X4 can stop the ball or stay with 4, but can't help and recover.

Matt Bollant - 5 relocates and 4 kicks back when 2 gets to the elbow, 3 moves up to the window when 2 jump stops. Any time you throw it to the 4 you become the 4, loop out below him.

Calipari - they have calls that will get 3 up to his X, one is on a middle drive from the other side, he doesn't move until the ball gets to the middle of the lane.

Kentucky - 3 comes out to his X once 2 breaks the lane line, 4 meets 2 at the split line.

Olesen - 3 will stay in his corner then look for drop-zone options on any stop. If 2 doesn't attack, 4 can move over looking for a pass.

Greg Kampe - cut when the ball is picked up on a drive, the driver replaces the man he passes to.

Petitgoue - if 2 passes to 4 (behind him) he clears to the corner, 3 dragged up on 1's drive.

Harris - if the ball is dribbled toward you on the perimeter, move toward the ballhandler instead of drifting (break a 3-in-a-row). 5 can move out to the baseline on the weakside or cross under to the other block, which Harris prefers.
 
Kampe - loop-pitch-fist - 1-2 kickup, 2-4 kickback, 5 ballscreens for 4..

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b) Backdoor cut

1 drives, stops in the drop zone, 2 backcuts (and keeps going), 5 ducks in (shown) or comes up to the weakside elbow, 1 can pass to 2 or 5.

Go backdoor if your defender helps up and loses vision (ball watching), or is between you and the ball.

Walberg - 2 cuts through hard, 5 flashes to the weakside elbow, 2 goes out the other side, 1 looks to pass to 5 and cut for a give and go or quick clear-out for 5.

Kentucky - 2 goes backdoor if X2 is playing high, he keeps going, 5 ducks in, look for a give and go with 1.

Olesen - from the corner, 3 drags up then goes back. As 1 stops in the drop zone, 5 takes one step up the lane getting ready to clear out if 2 backcuts. The cue to 2 taking off is X2 turning his head towards the driver. If 1 can't hit 2 or 5, have 4 run outside around 1 (a kickdown cut).

Bollant - if 1 jump stops at the elbow and 2 is not open, 5 makes a hard flash to the weakside elbow. Another option is that 4 comes right off 1's butt for a hand-off.

Petitgoue - 1 drives the elbow, 3 drags up, 2 takes two steps out of the corner then backcuts hard, 5 moves up to the weakside elbow when he sees that, 2 goes through if there is no pass.

Kampe - 1 can pass to 5 at the elbow and follow to ballscreen.

Karl - work on transition defence because shooters are in corners and the ball is going to the rim.

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c) Lane penetration

If 1 drives past the drop zone, 4 fills behinds and weakside 3 moves up in vision, looking for a skip pass.

One goal on dribble penetration is to fill behind the dribbler (the bail-out spot).

A missed shot from in the paint is a good play, get it up to the rim and let the big go get the rebound.

Walberg - if 1 knows he can't get to the rack zone, they want him to stop in the drop zone. If 1 gets past the drop zone, 3 elevates (drags up) to an open window where 1 can see him. Any time the ball goes to one wing, the other wing should be on a diagonal.

Olesen - no player should ever stop in the drag zone, the passing options aren't great.

Karl - attack and make simple plays, 60-70% of possessions should result in paint touches, a missed shot becomes a good offensive play, don't let a contested shot get blocked, get it up to the rim and let the bigs go get the rebound. If your man helps to the ball on penetration, go to the rim, crash the boards.

Grantz - drives should get below the drive line (the first marker below the foul line), then both corners lift to the drive line. A dribble-at signals a backcut.

Harris - on penetration from the top, 3 moves up a step or two out of the weakside corner to create an easy pass lane, and be in position to get back on defence.

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d) Kickback

On a middle drive by 1, 4 rotates behind (kicks back), 5 relocates, 3 reads whether to backcut, kick up, or stay in the corner.

The kickback is behind 1 (a positive pass), so 4 can catch and attack downhill (then 2 is patient in the ballside corner).

Calipari - 4 comes behind, 5 gets to the other side of the rim, weakside 2 comes up automatically. The whole offence is predicated on running downhill on any catch, if 4 is in front of 1 it becomes a weave, which doesn't work. If your man is not tight, hesitate and read what the defence is trying to do, then drive. If the defender will sag and go under, look to catch it tighter to the basket and shoot.

Kentucky - 1 pitches it back when 4 gets even with him, 1 replaces 4 (general rule - replace whoever you pass it to).

Olesen - use positive passes on kickbacks and kickups, the receiver has a clear path to the basket, and switching defences are punished. When defences switch or sag, hesitate and shot fake to make a defender close out, don't go full speed all the time. Be patient against teams that sag, use repeated cuts, passes and penetration.

Harris - second penetration often creates something more positive than the first. 4 is in good position for defensive balance if 1 shoots or dishes off inside.
 
Kampe - pitch-fist - 1-4 kickback, 5 ballscreens.

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2) Playing in the gap

To create a larger driving gap for the ballhandler, pass and cut from a guard spot, usually to the other side of the floor.

Grantz - on a perimeter pass, basket cut looking to score then fill out opposite where you started.

a) Loop cut

1 passes to 4 (swing) and loops through the ballside elbow area (rub cut, brush cut, blur screen), 4 drives middle off his backside.

Walberg - 1 passes to 4, busts looking for the ball then loops back (tees up), opening up a triple gap for 4.

Loop ballscreen - 5 comes up off 1's backside to pick and roll.

Petitgoue - Over - 1 follows his pass to ballscreen.

See Offence - Dribble-drive ballscreens (Loop).

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b) Corner cut

For a bigger gap, 1 cuts all the way to the ballside corner, especially against switching defence.

Calipari - to create a big gap for 4, 1 passes and cuts all the way to the corner, 4 drives off his butt (2 comes out when 4 gets to the middle). More often, 1 will cut hard to the nail (nail cut), allowing 4 to drive right or left.

Kentucky - go through the elbow then out the other side (to the corner).

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c) Through cut

1 swings the ball and cuts to the basket, 4 can drive right or left, 1 exit cuts opposite a drive.

Here 5 relocates.

Olesen - pass and cut rule - it's a general rule that when you pass the ball on the perimeter, cut through to the basket and out the other side of penetration. 5 looks to screen every time someone cuts under him. Against switching defence, pass and cut through to either corner. Tee up or nail cut only once per possession, use through cuts and corner cuts to involve 2 and 3 in the offence.

Olesen - 414 entry - 1 passes to 4 then tee-cuts, corner cuts, or brush cuts.
 
Swing-fist ballscreen - 1-4 pass, 5 picks and rolls.

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d)

To create a gap for 1 (or on denial), 4 cuts with no pass.

Olesen - dribble-drive is not meant to be played with a two-guard front. 4 backdoor cuts hard to the basket if denied. 1 can initiate a through cut by 4 with a step-back dribble.

Bollant - 4 can rub cut (loop under 1).

Kentucky - a pull-back dribble by 1 tells 4 to go, they like a corner cut because it gives a double gap, they don't rub cut because teams switch it.

Karl - get out of the way of the ball and let it attack, attack double gaps off the dribble every time. Know what you are going to do before you catch it, go-catch, move toward the basket before you receive the ball, don't catch and then go (San Antonio has a one second rule - you can't have the ball for more than one second).

See Offences - Nets dribble-drive, Matt Bollant dribble-drive.

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e) Quick

On a pass to a wing ("quick"), basket cut and clear weakside (like motion offence).

2 blast cuts and can drive middle or baseline.

Quick-fist ballscreen - 5 picks and rolls with 2.

Walberg - 4 gives 2 a two-count before moving over (fill late).

Ball reversal from 2 to 1 is an opportunity for a post feed.

Olesen - quick replace - if 1 starts to cut then replaces himself and gets a return pass, 4 cuts to the basket and 2 drops to the corner, creating space for 1 (the same action as a step-back dribble).

Lisa Thomaidis - on a wing-to-guard pass, the wing slides away to space. Penetrate-pass-pass - teams can usually cover the first pass out of penetration, the second is a long close-out. Penetrate-penetrate is a turnover in practice, you're going back into defence that collapsed.

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f) Swing-quick

1 passes to 4 and through (or corner) cuts (swing), 4 passes to 3, basket cuts and clears weakside (quick), 1 exit cuts to the ballside corner for floor balance.

3 can drive (the middle is open), make a post feed, or pass to 1 in the corner and basket cut, 1 looks to pass into the post or attack middle (or 5 can ballscreen).
 
See Tactics - Dribble-drive quick-swing.

Butler ballscreen - 5 picks and rolls with 3.

Walberg - if you want to get 5 the ball, 1 holds on a pass to 4, 3 pops up for a pass and gets it inside.

Olesen - if 5 is dominant and 4 swings the ball, 1 must recognize this and exit weakside on a through cut, anticipating a post pass (4 holds). The first rule to get the ball to a great post player is the middle rule, when 1 passes to 4 (across the middle of the court) he does not cut, 3 comes up for a catch and post entry.

Calipari - to create a lane for 3, 1 passes to 4 and holds, 4 passes to 3 and basket cuts, 5 relocates.

Harris - if the ball is passed into the low post in a wing-corner triangle, the corner must cut hard baseline, the wing stays ballside unless he screens away at the top for another player.up

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