September 2, 2005, Newsletter Issue #223: PLAY 5 ON 4

Tip of the Week

5 on 4
The first group is comprised of five players while the other team plays with four. Play this in a competive scrimmage situation, without stopping play for corrections. Instead, talk over the play and encourage the proper concepts to be used for each strategy.

The team with 4:
must run zone offense
must play m2m defense

Offense- Because the team with 4 is outnumbered and facing a zone they should be
encouraged to look for offensive transition opportunities before the defense is set.
drive gaps to draw two defenders and move the ball in the zone offense.
play with an increased effort to make up for being a "man down"

Defense- they must play a "true" m2m defense(not guard 4 & leave 1 player open or a play a glorified matchup). They must play as in any 1/2 court "scramble" situation.

A defensive player must:
first get the ball
second protect the basket
and the other two players must get to the level of the ball and find the next two most dangerous players.
this would simulate any situation where a teammate gets "beat" and teammates need to help, putting the defense in a constant help situation

The team with 5:
must play zone defense
must run m2m offense

Offense- team with 5 has a numbered advantage and are facing a m2m so they should be
encouraged to look to move the ball and find the open man within the m2m offense ( they may not simply play "keep away" looking for the open man.)
look for mismatches created by the defenses "scrambling"
find the precise defender to screen (this is much more difficult, as the defense should be rotating, switching, and scrambling)
This really helps the team execute their man to man offense and "see" what they are trying to accomplish, as opposed to just running to spots and passing the ball around.

Defense- they must play a 1/2 court zone using the correct zone coverage slides and not double team to take advantage of the extra player

You`ll always be amazed at how often the team with 4 actually win games up to 5 !

After one game to five, add a player to the team with 4 and subtract one from the team with 5 to give everyone repititions at all tactices.

Soon you`l be setting better screens, finding mismatches, moving the ball better against man or zone defenses, running the break and playing the hustling brand of help defense that you`ve always wanted to play !

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