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Some basketball offensive countermoves for the equal opportunity half-court offense

The shove-up countermove Counter-move on the weak-side    

A good basketball coach always teaches his players to understand that for every single move in a basketball, there is a counter move. This was true 80 years ago and is true, today. The best basketball play can be disrupted unless you have a counter move. Any basketball player, worth his salt, will stop an offensive move once the play is recognized. That is the main reason players must be taught to go right or left, and why a counter move is available for every play.

Let’s take things one step at a time. We have already shown the first pass we must make is from the point to the wing position. What happens if the wing is overplayed, not allowing the pass to the forward? Of course, the post player is another option, but in this case, we want to get the ball to the wing. Diagram 136 shows the passing situation where the guard is trying to make that pass. Using the “two step rule”, the forward comes higher than usual and cuts to the basket looking for a pass from the guard. If not open, the forward continues and using a screen by the other forward, breaks to the wing on the opposite side of the court (see Diagram 137).

Basketball Offensive Diagram 136 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense Basketball Offensive Diagram 137 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense

The guard who is to receive a guard-to-guard pass should begin to work the ball as soon as he sees that the guard is unable to hit the forward. If the guard cannot make the guard-to-guard pass, he should pass to the high post player as illustrated in Diagram 138 and the guard makes a “deep cut” and we are into the Equal Opportunity Offense (see Diagram 139).

Basketball Offensive Diagram 138 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense Basketball Offensive Diagram 139 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense

Here is a situation where the guards have brought the ball down the floor and passes are being made from guard-to-guard-to-forward. When the receiving guard starts to hit the wing, he finds that forward overplayed and is unable to deliver the basketball. Keep in mind that the other guard has gone through since on all guard-to-guard passes, the first passer executes a “deep cut”. The receiving guard will hit the high post for the pivot play (see Diagrams 140 and 141). That is the reason why the pivot player should remain constant on all guard-to-guard passes until the pass is actually delivered to the wing.

Basketball Offensive Diagram 140 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense Basketball Offensive Diagram 141 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense

The shove-up countermove

Once  the ball in the hands of the first cutter, #1, he must hit the point with a pass. He is #5, the player coming outside on the hi-low move. If the point, #5, and/or, the passer is overplayed, here is the counter move you can use to get a shot and still keep the continuity of the offense (see Diagram 142). Any good counter move must be a scoring threat, too.

Basketball Offensive Diagram 142 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense

The low post, #2, who is waiting to screen  for the first cutter, steps out to the short corner (see Diagram 143). #1 passes to #2 and breaks to the high post position. At the same time, #3 leaves the high post, and sets a back pick on #5's defender. As soon as #5 can, he cuts sharp, fast, and tight off both screens looking for a lay-up. Most probably, the pass would be a bounce pass.

As soon as the cutter comes through, the high post, #3, rolls outside to take #1's old position at the right wing. The original wing, or #1 player, stays in the high post position, formerly occupied by #3.

Please note that the wing and high post players interchange, the point and the low post players interchange with the point player going over the top on the strong side of the floor. The Equal Opportunity Offense starts when the wing, #3, receives from the base line player (see Diagram 144).

Basketball Offensive Diagram 143 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense Basketball Offensive Diagram 144 - Countermoves for the Equal Opportunity Half-Court Offense

Counter-move on the weak-side

Assuming the wing, #1, passes the ball out to the point as illustrated in Diagram 147, always stress that the passer, #1, starts his cut soon as making the pass. At the same time, the screener, #2, starts his move to set a back-pick at the same time.
Now, that the ball is at the point, in #4s hands, but he can’t hit the low post, #2, who fakes and cuts around #3; however, #2 is overplayed by his defender and not allowed him to receive the ball. In this situation, the ball handler at the point, #4, waits for the second cutter to arrive, fakes opposite and uses #3’s screen (see Diagram 148).

After setting the screen for #4, #3 rolls for the basket for a possible pass from #4 and an easy layup. If not open, #3 takes the second cutter’s spot, #1, on the opposite side of the floor. This opens the right side of the floor, for #4 to drive to the basket for a lay-up, or pass back outside to #5, the wing, coming to the point (see Diagram 149).

#5, at the point with the ball, hits #1, the original first cutter, and cuts sharply off a screen set by the high post, #2, the original second cutter.
#1 who relayed a pass to #3, the low post player, who moves to the corner and we are actually running the shove-up as a follow-up to the weak side counter move. #5 can cut over the top or reverse side (see Diagrams 150, 151, and 152).

More countermoves coming...

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