Friday, March 25, 2016


Today we are sharing a small excerpt from the book "Attack The Zone Defenses" by Del Harris and Ken Shields.  It is simply the most thorough book I've read on Zone Offense and is a must read for all coaches.  It has great detail to simple concepts with over 300-pages that without question will improve you Zone Offense.

There are six positive functions for the dribble against the zone defenses.  The first three actions are fundamental and well recognized.  Dribble Rotation and its value as noted in points four and five are more advanced and lesser understood.

1. Drive the ball to the goal for a score, with four teammates moving into positions to complement the attack on the basket, according to our bailout rules.

2. Punching (penetrating) into a defensive gap to shoot or to create a shot for a teammate by drawing defenders to the ball, thereby creating more space for him to operate when receiving a pass.

3. Using the drag dribble to improve a passing angle by bouncing once or twice laterally for a post entry, or to shorten the angle and distance for a perimeter pass, and especially to key popping a high post player out for a catch as an entry into a potential high-low post action.

4. Dribble Rotating the defense down to stretch or distort the defense.  This is done by dribbling while guarded by a defender out of one zone into an adjacent one toward the sideline or baseline in a non-penetrating angle.  The ball handler dribbles the ball one slot over on the perimeter to pull the ball defender to the edge of his area or into the next primary zone area.  This intelligent use combined with reading the defense creates excellent open space options.

5. Dribbling Rotating the defense up or across the top.  Dribbling up away from the baseline, or near sideline, in a non-penetrating angle involves the same process as the Dribble Down, but offers different space openings.

6. Freeze dribbling a defender to make him engage the ball. This clever action Ken has specialized in serves to have the effort of helping to pull a low wing defender out of his preferred position.  It is also a tool used often at the top of the zone to allow better timing for cutters to get into place.