EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE

‘Zag’ Relies Upon Spacing, Ball Movement

The main continuous motion creates close-out situations, driving lanes and open shooting opportunities for your guards

WHY USE IT
When you have limited size and skilled guards, use this set as it leads to good, natural spacing and places four players on the perimeter for swings and ball reversals.

SET UP
Your point guard has the ball on the right wing. 5 is on the ball-side block. 2 and 3 are on opposite wings between the free throw line and the baseline. 

HOW TO PLAY
1 passes to 2 and follows with a ball screen. 4 screens down for 3, then 4 quickly pops out. 2 attempts to drive the paint with 5 showing on the opposite block and 3 and 4 spotting up. 1 reads the defender and either pops or rolls to the rim [diagram 1].

If the drive isn’t there, 2 passes across to 3. 3 then passes to 4 and follows with a ball screen. 2 screens down for 1. 5 moves to the opposite block. 4 attempts to drive with 1 and 2 spotting up. 3 reads the defender and pops or rolls. If 1 is being denied, 1 screens down for 2 to give 4 another passing option [diagram 2].

4 reverses the ball to 2, then 2 passes to 1 for a possible shot. 2 has the option to screen away for 4, then 3, who cut toward the ball for spot-up or curl opportunities [diagram 3].

TECHNIQUE
The rules are the top players follow a pass to the wing with a ball screen for a pop or roll, and the top players follow a ball-reversal pass with a down screen for the weak-side wing.

    1. 4 screens down for 3 and both players spot up on this side of the floor anticipating a kick-out pass from 2 on the drive
    2. 2’s first option is to attack the lane with the dribble, but 2 also needs to look at 3 and 4 spotting up, 5 on the opposite block or even 1, who rolls or pops

    3. 5 moves between blocks and always is going toward the opposite block of where the dribble action is taking place
    4. Sometimes the defense tries to take away 1 coming toward the ball on the weak side, so beat this by having 1 return the downscreen for 2

    5. Many times as the ball is being reversed, the wing shooter is open, so 2 passes to 1 for the shot

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