Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Fast breaks
Mike Brown early flow

Mike Brown
FIBA (YouTube)

See YouTube video - Early offence flow Mike Brown GSW.
- Drag
- L
- Wedge
- Swing-roll

Flow is the ability for players to attack a defence in transition or in the halfcourt, on their own, not slowing the game down with calls from the coach. They like to attack the defence before it gets set. Halfcourt offence is not playing out of flow. Rules for the bigs - whatever the push man dictates, they will do.

Offence starts with a defensive rebound (everybody boxes out). People teach their guards to come out to the wing and make themselves available, they don't do that, they want deep outlets, as soon as a guard reads that a teammate is about to get a rebound, turn and run up the floor for a pass on the run, often an overhead or maybe baseball pass (Tim Duncan threw overhead bounce passes).

1 can come back to the ball if they take it away, the weakside should have vision too, the rebounder has half a second if 1 is open, if not the ball has to go to somebody else, 1-2-3 are interchangeable.

3 offensive bullet points (staples):

1) Pace - deep outlets, get into offence with 20-21 seconds on the shot clock.

2) Space - there are 6 frontcourt quadrants (including two dunker spots, low outside the lane), he doesn't want two players in the same quadrant unless there is a screen or DHO. Try to put one player in each quadrant and another guy in either dunker spot (with two traditional bigs, put one in each dunker spot and three guys on the perimeter).

3) "Point 5" - make quick, intelligent decisions with the ball in 0.5 seconds.

In transition, they want the "push man" (ballhandler) to throw it ahead for a shot or drive, or get two feet in the paint, collapsing the defence for a kick-out pass for a catch and shoot 3 or something going to the rim.

1) Early offence

The next thing is early offence with assigned lanes, 1-2-3 and 4-5 are interchangeable, the first big is the rim runner, the second is the trail big, top of the key behind the 3-point line.

The push man picks a side (left middle or right middle) but does not hug a sideline or go between the lane lines. He can change sides in the backcourt but not the frontcourt, to balance the offence.

If the push man brings the ball up the floor and doesn't see a big in front of him, he can start verbalizing what he wants, get into an early high pick and roll before the defence is set.

a) Drag

"Drag" is a little brush screen, an early high pick and roll before the defence is set, give 1 an opportunity to turn the corner and get to the paint to make a play. 2 and 3 space weakside.

See Fast breaks - Phoenix Suns drag screens.

b) Drag-drag

1 can call "drag-drag" is he sees that both bigs are kind of running together behind the ball, 2 and 3 space.

See Fast breaks - Spurs 2014 (Strongside pick and roll), Phoenix Suns drag screens.

1 can still yell "drag" if there is a guard ahead of the ball, 2 spaces and 5 goes weakside, 3 gets to the corner. It's OK if 4 is a non-shooting big, he rolls, 3 shakes up (lifts), 1 can throw it to 5 who can DHO with 2.

Drag-drag is an option.

c) Quick

If the first big is slightly ahead of the ball, 1 can yell "quick", 4 acts like he's moving to the strong-side block, as soon as he gets inside the foul line he button-hooks for a step-up screen, 1 can come off and snake to the middle of the floor, the other guys space weakside.

If 4 rolls, 5 can replace right behind.

Guys on the weakside don't necessarily have to hear the push man, they react.

See Fast breaks - Phoenix Suns drag screens (Peel-back to step-up screen).

d) L

One big is slightly in front, the other is close too, 1 can yell "L", 4 button hooks, 5 sets a side ballscreen, 1 can come off either one, 4 and 5 play off each other, the shooting big can pop for space, the other roll to the basket.

See Tactics - Lawrence Frank ballscreens (L-action).

These four actions are what a push man is encouraged to do in Early before the defence is set, as long as there is no big ahead of the ball.

2) Early automatics

The rim runner gets his nose under the rim, the trail big is behind the arc, top of the key.

They want ballside corner filled, and weakside wing foul-line extended. Here 3 can tell 2 to "go through".

The push man has different options, everybody reacts to that.

They don't want to call a play every time, which would give the defence an advantage of knowing what's coming (scouting is usually good) and the defence is getting set.

a) Weak

1 throws the ball ahead to 3, basket cuts outside the weakside dunker spot, 3 swings the ball to 4, 2 sets his guy up and basket cuts (a scoring cut), 1 comes out to the wing.

5 establishes a strong-side post-up if he doesn't get it at the rim.

4 passes to 1, 2 cross-screens for 5, 4 pins down, bringing 2 out top.

Weak Pop - if 5 is a shooting big, instead of taking a cross-screen he uses 4's screen and comes out top looking to catch and shoot.

See Fast breaks - Triano early offence (Thru), Spurs weak.

On a pass to 2 he can shoot, drive, pass, if he takes a back dribble, 4 and 5 come out to the elbows, 1 and 3 flatten to the corners.

Play split action on a catch at either elbow, 2 follows looking for a handback then screens down for the corner, either guy may go backdoor (2 looks to slip if defenders are switching and don't come together), if 5 looks at 4 he pins down for 3, 5 can pass or DHO (shown).

See Fast breaks - Spurs Strong.

b) DHO

1 dribbles at 3 for a DHO, 3 dribbles at 4 who backcuts (through the charge line), 3 keeps going to DHO with 2.

2 dribbles out top, 5 comes up through the nail to twist a ballscreen at the last second, with his butt to either corner, or flat, so the ballhandler can go downhill. 1 and 3 flatten.

If 4 is a traditional big, he goes to the dunker spot in the direction the ball is going.

If 4 can make a 3-point shot or make a play from behind the arc, he can go to either corner, 1 or 3 go out to the next spot.

Try to limit going east to west with the ball as much as possible.

See Offence - 1-4 dive series (Oregon).

c) Dive

5 is trailing, backcuts when 1 dribbles right at him, 2 and 3 flatten.

As 1 crosses the mid-line, 4 comes up to ballscreen (almost through the nail), 1 changes hands to come off.

See Fast breaks - Spurs 2014 (Re-set ballscreen), Early dribble-drive screens (Fist inverted).

d) Swing

1 swings the ball to the trail big, who passes to 2, 5 follows the ball and posts up, 1 and 4 stagger screen for 3.

1 can stay in the corner, or run the baseline to the ballside corner (shown).

If X5 is in a hard 3/4, 5 has a seal on a pass to the corner, if there is no pass inside, 5 steps up, backscreens for 2 then ballscreens with 1, 4 will stay at the elbow or move down.
See Shooting - Spurs Strong 2-ball.

Here 1 stays after the stagger screen, 2 swings the ball to the top if there is no pass inside, 5 comes up to the elbow, 2 flattens, get into split action on a pass to either elbow.

2 backcuts if denied on the swing, 1 pins down for 3 (his action is still the same), 5 goes block to block, 4 makes a DHO and rolls, 2 bounces back out.

See Fast breaks - Spurs 2007 (Strong, second pass denied).

e) Point

1 points at the trail big, who goes to set a weakside pin-down, 2 sets his guy up, comes off for a pass, 5 starts to come up, 3 goes backdoor, 1 follows his pass.

See Fast breaks - Triano early offence (Single).

2 gives it right back 1, 5 flarescreens for 2, 4 pins down for 3.

Counter - 2 goes backdoor if top-locked on 4's pin-down, 1 dribbles inside, 2 comes off 5's pin-down, 3 comes off 4's flare at the weakside elbow.

See Quick hitters - Duke actions (Down), Fast breaks - Florida 2005.

3) Calls

a) Wedge

3 screens for 4, 5 goes away to the weakside dunker, 4 may go right into a ballscreen if X4 goes underneath (shown), or sprint to the block for a post-up if X4 trails over 3's screen.

3 goes to the weakside corner.

See Fast breaks - Spurs 2007 (Post the trailer), Spurs 2014 (Wedge action).

b) Loop

3 loops off 5 to the middle of the floor for a pass, 2 and 4 walk down.

1 sets his guy up, comes off 5-2-4 then 2 comes out the other side.

See Fast breaks - Spurs loop.

Variation - 1 uses 5, who turns and screens for him to come back out, 2 uses 4.up

c) Swing-roll

1-4-2 swing, 5 stays, 4 follows to ballscreen.

Simplicity in the NBA is first, so long as there is some movement and a counter to whatever action you have. His general rule - can't pass and stand.

See Tactics - Lawrence Frank ballscreens (Swing).

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-23 Eric Johannsen