Why are offensive systems important?

In Part 1, "Offensive Systems in Basketball, " our basketball expert Ramy Azrak explains why a team needs offensive systems.

Bogdan Suciu, trainer at the Telekom Baskets Bonn, will analyze in detail for the trainingsworld 3 systems in the next sections.

" If you have a few Allstars in the team, you do not need systems, " famously said two-time NBA Champion Kenny Smith. The more succinctly spoken sentence is nourished on closer analysis by a few arguments. Of course, a team should not limit the individual class and creativity of its players, but ultimately systems help to better show the strengths of each player and the team. Superstar Michael Jordan was a part of a team during his prime and even he had to fit in with his trainer Phil Jackson's "Triangle Offense".

Why do we need offensive systems?

Speaking of Michael Jordan: The older ones among the readers will certainly still remember the Dreamteam 1992 with Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and David Robinson - just to name a few of the superstars. The US-American team was a bunch of superstars throwing away everything that came in their way at the Olympics. To be fair, Kenny Smith is right in saying that a team of superstars and instinct basketballers will almost always find a creative or brutal solution, even without offensive systems, to get through to the basket. On the other hand, the same basketball team can undoubtedly be even better with a philosophy, a certainty of automatisms and knowing what the other players are doing.

In addition to their own security for the game can be revealed by offensive systems and gaps of the opponent systematically. " Systems help us to bring the defense into situations where it has its greatest weakness, thus enabling spaces that are challenging the defense, " explains Bogdan Suciu, adding: " In such cases, a coach can use a targeted offensive system Creating high-percentage game situations . "

In the opposite case, if the opponent initiates an unexpected countermeasure in the defense situation, one can score points through offensive systems. An offensive system is the key to opening the gate of defense. If a defensive, for example, to box-and-one, so the trainer with an appropriate system straighten the short-term confusion.

(Also Read: Basketball Tactics: Attacking a Combined Defense)

Rule changes affect systems

With the rule changes over the years, offensive systems have become even more important. "The introduction of Shot-Clock, for example, meant that the Motion Offense is no longer in this old form, " explains Bogdan Suciu. The time limit for an attack was introduced in 1954 (then 35 seconds, today 24 seconds) in the NBA and was designed to make the game faster and more attractive for the spectator. The Motion Offense is a behavioral pattern that aims to "weary" the defense by constantly moving the offensive player and matching the ball, forcing them to make mistakes. "In the past, the ball was administered and the Shot Clock forces teams to complete quickly ."

Another change that allows new tactical options on the offensive is the expansion of the 2-point area. By shifting the 3-point line by half a meter backwards and the increasing weighting of athletics in modern basketball has become a tendency in Europe to play fastbreaks with their previous Drag Screen (article on this), Pick and Roll, Pick and pop and dribble hand offs of many teams reinforced. The increased scope opens up teams with good scorers and Big Men (position 4 and 5) good attacking opportunities. The Big Men are much more athletic and technically better these days. Modern Power Forwards and Centers can both stand on the move with their backs to the basket and with penetration into the basket of the Pick and Pop.

The Brose Baskets Bamberg, who benefit greatly from their style of play, are a good example of the new opportunities created by the postponement of the 3-point line. The analysis of the Bamberger game philosophy shows that the team of coach Chris Flemming sets in a very short time from many angles very many picks and screens. This forces the defense to constantly adapt. This is followed by a separate article in which we will explain this in more detail.


In modern basketball and at a high level, organized systems are indispensable. Nevertheless, it is important to train young basketball players in the basics before you start with systems! Fitting, dribbling and throwing are the most important building blocks of any system. Without these elementary basics, modern systems are useless. According to Boddan Suciu, systems of tactics make sense only from the U16, but then only in connection with the basics, according to Dean Smith's motto " Concentrate in the Process rather than the result ". Bogdan Suciu says, " It's not going to make sense to get into the big world of systems unless you make the basics better on a daily basis."

Ramy Azrak

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