Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Zone offence
Zone motion

Alan Lambert.


The pass to 5 is a purpose pass. 5 is not usually a shooter, and there is poor rebounding position. 5 should not move out to the corner too early, which would allow the defence to more easily disrupt the pass. 5 should hold the ball long enough to draw out a defender. If the pass to 5 is denied, 1 gets a handback from 3, and reverses from there (the corner pass does make the defence shift more).

See 1-gap vs match-up for a similar zone attack without a give-and-go on a pass to the ballside corner, or a high pick and roll on reversal.


1 should be above the foul line for a better angle for passing and the high pick and roll (4 may be open rolling to the basket, or 5 at the low post after screening for 2).

If the pass out of the corner is denied, 1 steps back towards halfcourt; if the pass is still denied, 4 can step into the gap for a pass from 5. 3 should be alert to a corner trap or pass denial, and make a flat cut to the weakside.

On the pass from 1 to 3, 3 looks for a skip pass to 2 open in the corner. If the skip pass is contested, the middle opens up.


If the top defender in a 1-2-2 or 1-3-1 zone denies the pass to 3, a good point guard can penetrate to split the top of the zone, or reverse through 4.


A pass to 5 flashing in the middle creates an attacking triangle with 2 and 4, and another with 3 and 1. Note that 2 is the baseline runner, and 3 the loop cutter.


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2007-13 Eric Johannsen