Are you training an “aimless” or “intentional” offense?
Like most sports, the winning team in basketball is determined by the number of points your team scores. A high school game lasts just 32 minutes, putting pressure on each possession to be efficient and productive. This article analyzes three aspects of the crime; shot distribution, selection and location.
If there are 60 possessions in a high school game (45 due to turnovers and free throws) and you shoot 45% from the field, your team will average about 21 baskets made per game. I guess your team could generate around 6 open trays. If you counter and push, probably a couple more. That leaves about 15 shoes your team has yet to make.
The following questions are very important to ask and ponder:
1. Based on your team and your offensive philosophy, where will those shots come from? (I mean where on the court, not who).
2. What type of shot distribution would you prefer for your team based on what you know about your team? Answer this based on how YOU want the shot distribution to be, not what your team would like.
3. Now, the challenge is to match your “offensive plan for the placement and distribution of shots” to match the offense you run. This will take some time, but it will be worth it. The biggest offensive mistake I see in high school basketball is “aimless offense.” Tea “The aimless offense is where there is no consistent basis that dictates who shoots and where they shoot from. “Answer this: If you were a soccer coach, would you put your guard at the quarterback position and your receivers on the line? Of course not. How does this relate to basketball?
In basketball, would you have 21% shooters taking three? Who would you like to see more shots per game, a 52% shooter or a 30% shooter? Who is allowed to put the ball in the paint and make plays consistently without flipping the ball? What have you defined as a “bad shot” for your team and does everyone accept it? These are questions that need to be answered and decided before your next season.
The best advice I got was from Jim Crews, the current Army coach who had been a player and assistant coach in Indiana, as well as a head coach in Evansville. He said PURPOSE is the most important thing in offensive basketball. He advised me to do this: in practice, while your team is in the middle of a possession, yell “Stop.” Ask them what they are trying to do. In other words, you are asking what your focus of that possession is. If they say, “Trying to score, coach,” then you need to address the specific purpose of your attempt to score.
This is an excellent thought and coaches should ask themselves. Too many times the offense “registers” the defense without a clear purpose. In the end, someone will take a photo because they feel like it’s time to do it. That’s a recipe for defeat because usually the timing, selection, and placement of shots are so far out of balance.
Before your next season, I challenge you to analyze your offense in terms of the type of shots you want on the offensive side. By looking at the distribution, selection and placement of shots, you are designing a productive and efficient offensive machine!