6 Principles of a Good Offense

Over the years and I have had a few, I have had the good fortune to meet and learn from some amazing folk. The intention of this corner is pass on some of these knowledge/ideas, which have helped broaden my view of game, hopefully it will do the same for you.

Below is an articleby Peter Lonergan, currentBasketball Australia Head of High Performance Coach Development.




When deciding on which offensive structure or system to implement with a team, it is important to understand what components make for a successful offence.

The six point checklist for offensive structure can assist in simplifying the choice of structure and ensures that the coach does not waste time implementing and teaching an offensive system that does not provide consistent scoring opportunities.

Perhaps the most important aspect before even selecting your offensive structure or putting into the six point test is that suits you’re playing personnel and is something your players have the ability and skills to operate.

Any offensive system will only be as good as the fundamental base of the players and the bulk of practise and preparation time should be devoted to individual skill development

The next step is to put your offensive structure or system to the “six point checklist”

Does your offensive set or structure have –

      Opportunities in transition (early offence)


      In – built reversal

      Opportunity for dribble penetration

      Opportunity for post play

      Opportunity for shooters


To effectively challenge the defence and provide high quality scoring opportunities, it is important an offensive structure of system has most, if not all of the above qualities.

1.      Opportunities in transition (early offence)

Any offensive system needs to be able to provide scoring opportunities early in the possession, either after a defensive stop or a made basket.

Basic full court organisation, perhaps with an in- built counter for extended pressure and clear roles for all players in transition are valuable in creating quality shots early in the possession and possibly “easy” baskets.

The transition or early offensive system needs to flow quickly and smoothly into the half court set to ensure shot clock pressure is not created as the “burns” clock getting organised.

2.      Spacing

This is perhaps the most important aspect of any offence. Without it, the ability of individuals to execute one on one skills and key elements such as post play and penetration are limited. Whatever the system being used, all players need to have an understanding of spacing and just as importantly, how to identify and react accordingly when spacing is poor.

3.      In – built ball reversal –

As with spacing, the ability to shift the defence through the reversal is essential to effective team offence. Most effective offensive systems have an in – built ball reversal, that is , they explore one side of the floor, then create action await from the ball and a conduit to take the ball to that action on the opposite side of the floor.

This can be achieved through stepping interior players to the perimeter to reverse the ball, reversing through hands or through the post.

 4.      Opportunity for dribble penetration

Ask coaches what is the toughest thing to defend in the half court; many will reply containing the ball and handling dribble penetration.

Penetration of the ball into the key is a vital element of team offence and places pressure on the defence in terms of stopping the ball and then reacting to players in receivers spots.

The drive and kick game has become more and more prevalent with the changes to the FIBA shot clock and most players have the ability to break down an opponent off the dribble.

It is essential for an offensive system to provide Penetration lanes and create action that leads to close – outs and opportunities to put pressure on the rim through dribble penetration

 5.      Opportunity for post play

The focus of any offensive system is to create quality, high percentage scoring opportunities and this is often done through the post or creating shots in the lane

The lane and post area can be described s the 80 per cent land of opportunity so common sense would suggest it a sound idea to create action that provides scoring opportunities in this area of the floor.

 6.      Opportunities for shooters

When all said and done, the name of the game is scoring and putting the ball in the hole.

This can be done in a variety of ways, but good teams combine a combination of earl offence, with post play, shots in the lane and perimeter shooting.

Creating opportunities for shooters is important in providing offensive balance and making for a balanced attack.


Perth Redbacks Basketball Association acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which the Association is located, the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Boodja, we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We respectfully acknowledge the continuing connection of the Noongar people to the lands and sea on Noongar Boodja.