- BEAT THE DEFENSE DOWN THE FLOOR
Push the tempo to catch the defense off guard to create quick easy scoring chances.
- IDENTIFY THE ZONE
If there is no initial scoring opportunity in transition, you must properly identify what zone is being played (ie, 1-2-2, 3-2, 2-3, 1-3-1 match-up, etc.) and set up the offense accordingly.
- MAINTAIN GOOD SPACING
Spacing is vital on offense and even more so vs zone. Poor spacing allows the defense to guard two offensive players with one defensive player. Proper spacing will spread out the zone and open up scoring opportunities.
- CRISP PASSING AND BALL MOVEMENT
The quicker the ball moves the harder it is for a zone to keep up and adjust. “Skip” passes are particularly effective and force the zone into long rotations.
- BE READY TO MAKE A PLAY
Offensive players must be in triple threat position on the catch ready to attack. You cannot simply pass the ball around the perimeter holding the ball above our head.
- ATTACK THE GAPS WITH LIMITED DRIBBLING
Unnecessary dribbling allows the defense time to adjust or reset and slows down ball movement. The best time to drive a gap is when the zone is in rotation. Penetrate and protect the ball.
- GET THE BALL INSIDE
Zones are designed to force outside shots. You must attack inside out by penetrating the zone with low and high post passes. Often the best outside scoring opportunities come from inside out play.
- OUT NUMBER AND OVERLOAD
Depending on the zone being played you must identify the weak areas and attack those weaknesses by working to get a numbers advantage. You can accomplish this by screening as well.
- BE PATIENT
You want to be aggressive but you also cannot settle for the first quick shot. Work the zone to create GREAT not GOOD scoring opportunities.
- PURSUE OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS
Zones offer excellent offensive rebound opportunities due to the lack of direct man-to-man responsibilities. You have to exploit this weakness with relentless pursuit of the ball.