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How to dribble drive and penetrate the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense

A strong basketball lay-up drive is effective in loosening up the defense that is overplaying, feeling they know your next move. Driving the lane will help keep the defense honest. You can drive quite effectively:

  1. Down the middle after receiving the ball as the third cutter.
  2. Off the low post, down the baseline and/or anytime the defense over-commits and out of position.

Penetrating the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense Diagram 90The guards have a nearly clear path when they put the ball into play. This is created by the position of players on the side of the lane. The guard should always be aware of the side that #3 is located. It is much simpler to have one player clear a side of the floor than it is have two clear a side. By keeping track on which side of the floor #3 is on, and with the use of hook-back maneuvers as they bring the ball down-court, the guards may choose to drive all the way to the basket. If so, #3 should clear his side of the floor and let them drive all the way in to the basket (see Diagram 90).



The continuity of this maneuver is natural and simple. If the drive is stopped, the driver passes back outside to the other guard and cross under the basket and across the lane. The pivot, #5, moves to the high post. The #3 player, who cleared, will stay and #4 crosses the lane to the other wing position ready to receive the ball and starting the Equal Opportunity attack (see Diagrams 91 and 92).

Penetrating the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense Diagram 91 Penetrating the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense Diagram 92

Penetrating the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense Diagram 93One of the best penetrating drives in this offense is the drive illustrated in Diagram 93. Actually, you will find many opportunities to drive down the middle. Should the drive be halted, the low-post player is in position to receive the ball. The driver is headed in the proper direction for his continuity. Notice how smooth the continuity is, even if the drive fails.




Penetrating the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense Diagram 94The driver in this case would have normally passed to #5 and moved to screen opposite and take up a position as the low-post or wing. He is doing the same thing off the drive. If his drive is halted, he simply passes the ball to #5 and clears opposite to his normal continuity position at the wing (see Diagram 94).





Penetrating the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense Diagram 95To drive off the low post the receiver must make his move quickly as the ball hits his hands. Otherwise, the first cutter coming under from the opposite direction is in the way. If he is in the way, he must step aside and let the driver come on in (see Diagram 95). All your players need to know how to do this the first day they ever played three-on-three in a half-court game. Nothing is more frustrating to a penetrator having a wide-open lay-up, only to see a teammate blocking his route instead of clearing out.



After you have run the Opportunity Offense several times, the defense will attempt to steal the point-to-wing pass. That is when the receiving wing should alter his cut and take the baseline drive every time his defender plays him straight-up or slightly high. Please note the wing is on an imaginary line extending from the free-throw line. This gives him a lot of driving room. He should always receive the ball close enough in as to be a threat shot. This forces his defender to play him tight and most vulnerable to the dribble drive.

Penetrating the paint off the Opportunity Basketball Offense Diagram 96Another time when the baseline drive is an option is when the defensive forward overplays the initial pass from guard-to-forward (see Diagram 96). All forwards and post players should practice this option every practice session. (This is a good one-on-one for your "Stations" around the gym.) This gives them another scoring opportunity whenever they go to the wing spot.

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