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Basic Zone Concepts

I received an email asking for some basic zone offense ideas and promised I would add a couple diagrams. I finally sat down and did a couple:

I believe teams play zone when they do not think they can stop a team by playing man-to-man. Therefore, I want to create as many man-to-man match-ups as possible. So, rather than filling gaps, I start by matching their zone. Against a 2-3, start in a 2-3 alignment:

In this set, P3 runs the baseline while P4 and P5 set screens. If the bottom defender does not go with P3, P3 is open. However, if the defense runs with the cutter, the screener shows to the ball for a shot or a high-low look to the other post holding off his man.

In the set below, we start in the gaps:

In this set, P1 fills behind the dribble, drawing the bottom defender to the wing. The ball side post screens the middle defender and the other post cuts to the ball side to get good position on the block for a shot.

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