(Used to Combat Half-Court Pressure Defense)
By Hal Wissel
The Quick Motion offense is a great offense to use to combat half-court man-to-man pressure defense. In the Quick Motion players are guided more by principles than by a strict set of specific assigned responsibilities. The Quick Motion emphasizes the fundamentals of moving without the ball, passing and catching, which are paramount to unselfish team play.
The 3-2 open set (figure 1), also called the spread formation is the most basic formation for learning to play team offense. It involves three perimeter players and two base¬line players. The point position (player 1 in figure 1) is above the top of the 3-point circle. The wing posi-tions (players 2 and 3) are at the imaginary foul line extended on each side. The baseline positions (players 4 and 5) are at the midpoint between the corner and the basket on each side.
Players on your team tend to crowd together near the ball or too close to the basket.
Maintain spacing and balance in an open formation, spread 15 to 20 feet apart. Keep the middle open. When you cut to the basket and do not receive a pass, continue through and fill a spot on the side with fewer players.
The 3-2 open set encourages versatility rather than forcing players into restricted roles as center, power forward, small forward, shooting guard, or point guard. It gives each player the opportunity to handle the ball, cut, screen, and move outside and inside. The 3-2 set provides initial structure and spacing that allow players to execute basic two- and three-person plays and plays involving all five players, such as a five-player give-and-go offense or weave or weave offense.
Principles for Executing the Quick Motion Offense
When executing Quick Motion, keep in mind these basic principles of good teamwork.
Talk! Communication is the key to all aspects of team offense. The Quick Motion offense is not a set play offense, and players are not assigned a specific set of responsibilities. Therefore, continual com¬munication between players becomes especially important when executing this offense.
See the rim. By having the rim in view, you see the entire court. When you have the ball, keep the rim in view and look for teammates cutting to the basket, flashing to the ball and posting up. When you do not have the ball, you should have the rim and the player with the ball in view.
Maintain spacing and court balance. Start in an open formation with players spread 15 to 20 feet apart. Players should be spaced high at the top, wide on the wings, and at the midpoint between the basket and corner on the baseline.
Backdoor cut when overplayed. When over¬played by a defender who denies you the pass, make a backdoor cut all the way to the basket. When backdoor cuts are used frequently, the Quick Motion offense becomes a great offense for beating pressure defenses.
Flash between the passer and overplayed receiver. When a defender denies your teammate the pass and you are the next player away from the receiver, automatically flash to an open area between the passer and the overplayed receiver. Flashing to the ball helps relieve defensive pres-sure on your teammates by giving the passer another outlet. A flash can not only prevent a possible turnover, but also can create a scoring opportunity if the overplayed receiver combines it with a well-timed backdoor cut.
Keep the middle open. When you cut to the basket and do not receive a pass, you should con-tinue on through and fill an open spot on the side of the court with fewer players. This will keep the middle open and the floor balanced. Do not stay in the post area for more than one count.
Quickly move to a vacated spot. When you are the next player away from a cutting player, quickly move to the vacated spot. It is especially impor¬tant to replace a player who has cut from the point or top position. To replace the player at the point, cut high above the three-point line, creat¬ing a better passing angle to receive a reversal pass from a wing and a better angle to reverse the ball to the weak side. This will also force the defense to cover more of the court, thus providing more space for cutting, driving, and posting up.
Emphasize driving from the wing. Emphasize driving from the wing rather than driving from the top. After receiving a pass on the wing, you should be a triple threat to pass, shoot, or drive to the basket. When you drive, look to score or penetrate and pass (draw-and-kick) inside or outside to an open teammate.
Maintain rebounding and defensive balance. On a shot, inside players should go for the rebound, while the point guard and another outside player should get back for defensive balance. When you take a shot outside of the lane area, you should get back for defensive balance. Any time the player at the point drives to the basket, players at the wings should get back for defensive balance.
Player Options for Each Position
If you are the point guard, signal the start of the Quick Motion offense with a simple verbal call such as “Quick Motion!” You can also signal the start of the offense with a hand signal such as circling one finger upward. The best way to start is to pass the ball to either wing and cut to the basket. When you are replacing the point who cut to the basket, your options, in order, are to reverse the ball quickly to the weak side, look inside for a pass to a post-up player, penetrate and pass (draw-and-kick), or fake a pass to the weak side and make a quick snapback pass to the wing on the side from which you received the pass. When you do not have the ball and are denied a pass, you should automatically make a backdoor cut to the basket.
When you are on the wing, your options are to catch and shoot within your rhythm and range or continue your cut out wide. When you catch the ball outside of your range, look to pass inside to a cutter or player posting up. On the wing, hold the ball for a count or two to give a cutter or a post-up player time to get open. If you are unable to pass to an open teammate cutting or posting up, look to quickly reverse the ball to the point. When you are on the weak side wing, it is especially impor¬tant to replace a player who has cut from the point or top position. To replace the player at the point, cut high above the three-point line, creat¬ing a better passing angle to receive a reversal pass from the ball side wing and a better angle to reverse the ball to the opposite side. When you are on the weak side wing and receive the ball after it has been reversed from the ball side, look to pen¬etrate the defense by driving to the basket to score or pass (draw-and-kick). When you do not have the opportunity to drive, quickly reverse the ball to the point to opposite side wing. Look to pass to a baseline player only if that teammate is open for a catch-and-shoot jump shot within rhythm and range or can make an easy pass to a player cutting inside or posting up. The ball can be moved more quickly if it is kept off the baseline.
When you are at a baseline position, you should be alert to replace the wing on your side when the wing cuts through or makes a backdoor cut. Be especially alert to flash to the ball when the wing on your side is denied and does not cut through or cut backdoor. Flash high between the ball and the wing to receive a pass from the point and then pass to the wing cutting backdoor. When you are on the weak side and the ball side post is denied, flash high to the ball side elbow to receive a pass from the wing and then look to pass to the post cutting to the basket. When you are on the weak side and the high post is denied, flash to the ball side low post to receive a pass and then look to pass to the high post cutting backdoor. The ball can be moved more quickly if it is kept off the baseline. However, be ready to receive a pass in catch and shoot position within your range.
When you receive the ball in the low post, read the defense and look to score before passing out to a perimeter player. When you do not receive a pass in the low post, look to set a back pick for a perimeter player. After setting the pick, pop out to receive a pass on the perimeter for a possible jump shot within your rhythm and range.
The give-and-go is the most basic play in basketball. Give (pass) the ball to your team¬mate and go (cut) to the basket, looking to receive a return pass for a layup. Read and set up your defender with a well-timed fake before the cut. Take a step or two away from the ball. Then, as your defender moves with you, change direction sharply and use a front cut to the basket. Another way to fake is by taking a step or two toward the ball as if you are going to set a screen for or take a handoff from the player with the ball. As your defender moves with you, change direction sharply and make a backdoor cut behind your defender. Figures 2a and 2b show a five-player give-and-go offensive pattern.
You have difficulty seeing an open player on a cut.
See the rim. When you see the rim you will see the entire court and an open teammate.
Your team has difficulty moving the ball from the ball side to the weak side and your reversal passes are easily intercepted.
When you are replacing the point from the weak side, cut high above the 3-point circle to receive a pass and reverse the ball. A shallow cut gives your defender a good angle at which to deny and intercept a pass. If you cut high and your defender continues to go with you, cut backdoor.
Combating Denial Defense
When the ball is at the point, and the closest wing player is being denied a pass, the wing should initiate movement by making a backdoor cut to create an open area for a baseline player, who will cut to the wing for a pass from the point (figure 3). When you are at the point and cannot pass to the wing, you can also initiate movement by dribbling at the wing, make a flip pass handoff to the wing, set a quick screen, then cut to basket. (figure 4)
You should automatically use a backdoor cut any time you are overplayed by a defender and prevented from receiving a pass. You should also use a backdoor cut when your defender’s head is turned away from you, causing a momentary loss of visual contact. Use a designated key word such as “Eye-ball!” This will signal the passer that you are going backdoor. Once you start to go backdoor continue your backdoor cut all the way to the basket. When you are on the wing, set up your defender by taking a step above the foul line extended (figure 5). When you are at the point, take a step above the free throw circle before cutting backdoor (figure 6).
After receiving the pass, look to shoot, drive to the basket for a layup, or penetrate and pass (draw-and-kick).
Pressure defense prevents you from getting open to receive a pass.
When your defender overplays you and denies you from receiving a pass, make a backdoor cut to the basket.
After starting your backdoor cut, you stop. The passer thinking you were cutting to the basket throws the ball away.
Once you start to go backdoor continue your backdoor cut all the way to the basket. This will prevent a possible turnover
Any time you see a teammate being denied the pass and you are the next player away, you should automatically flash to an open area between the passer and overplayed receiver. Flashing to the ball relieves defensive pressure on your team¬mates by giving the passer another outlet. A flash can not only prevent a possible turnover, but combined with a well-timed backdoor cut by the overplayed receiver, can also create a scoring opportunity. Signal your flash cut with the key word “Flash!” As you receive the pass, look to pass to your overplayed teammate cutting backdoor to the basket. If your teammate is covered on the backdoor cut, front turn into a triple-threat position for a possible shot, drive to the basket, or pass.
Flash high when your teammate is prevented from receiving a pass on the perimeter (figure 7). You can also flash to the high post when your teammate is being fronted in the low post (figure 8), and you can flash to the low post if your teammate is being denied at the high post (figure 9).
Error: Pressure defense prevents your teammate from getting open to receive a pass.
When you see a defender denying your teammate from receiving a pass, you should automatically flash to an open area between the ball and your overplayed teammate. Receive a pass and look to pass to your overplayed teammate cutting backdoor.
Wissel, Hal. (2011). Basketball: Steps to Success. Third Edition. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL