Discover 11 ways to effectively score against zone defense
- Learn the importance of utilizing the short corner against a zone defense
- Learn how to punch gaps against a zone by using ball reversal and ball movement to set up a score
- Learn how to ball screen a zone with a drag action to create an advantage on the back end
with Joe Raso, Canadian National Team Scout; Mentor Coach for Basketball Canada Junior Academy 2013 and 2014;
former McMaster University Head Coach, 4x OUA West Champions and competed at 12 CIS National Championships; he is the all-time winningest coach in McMaster history (440 wins)
Make your opponents regret even trying to play zone defense against your team!
Long time scouting director Joe Raso has seen the evolution of the zone offense first hand. He's watched and studied the game for many years and seen it evolve from an attacking zone offense before the 3-point line to offenses that look to only use the 3-pointer to score. Coach Raso has developed an attacking mindset with any team that he coaches. Through the use of mismatches and ball movement, he can teach you to beat even the best zone defenses.
Coach Raso shows you how to have an effective transition offense regardless of if you're facing a man or zone defense. He teaches you techniques such as Pins, Seals and ball screens to help create scoring opportunities against a zone. You will also learn the three common denominators of successful offense regardless if it is man or zone.
Coach Raso believes good offense begins with a good transition game. He explains how teams should attack with dribble penetration right from the start. He uses transition build-ups to teach dribble penetration against a 2-on-1, 3-on-2, and even a 4-on-3 setting. Each setting teaches players how to punch gaps with ball movement and attacking closeouts.
Attacking the Middle of the Zone
A second element that Coach Raso teaches is getting the ball to the middle of zone. This will open up the floor and allow you to develop more options against a zone. Once the ball is the middle of the zone, you can use a pin screen for a shooter, seal the low inside block and create a lob pass scoring opportunity around the rim. Another option is to use ball screens to create mismatches with your guards playing against a post/forward.
Attacking from Behind the Zone
A third element, and most important according to Coach Raso, is attacking from the behind the zone. He demonstrates several actions and sets where players catch the back side of a zone ball-watching. You can also create great scoring opportunities by moving the ball off of skip passes, ball reversals, and drag dribbles. With the drag dribble, you will to able to take a defender with you, leaving an opening for a teammate to attack from behind the zone.
Overloading is another option that can lead to scoring opportunities in the paint. Finally, using set movements or plays, you are able to manipulate the zone to your liking.
3 Common Denominators
Regardless of whether a team plays man or zone against you, Coach Raso believes there are three common denominators for effectively scoring on offense. You will learn the importance of:
- Knowing what your transition break is
- Knowing your rules on penetration and reaction
- Knowing what to do if the ball gets fed to the post
Coach Raso gives you a lot to ponder when designing your zone attack. This video is a must-have for any coach at any level who is looking to effectively score against a zone.