Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Italy's 2-1-2 Secondary Offense

If you are not cashing in on the opportunities to watch the insane amount of international basketball that is on display on FIBA's Youtube Channel, you really are missing out! Lots of good, well coached teams (including Team USA) playing at a variety of levels. I prefer to watch the U16, U18, and U20 games over the older teams, mainly because I coach high school and some of the tactics that work for U16 and U18 are better suited to high school players. This post was originally going to be on odds and ends from the Italy vs. Greece U18 game. After watching Italy's secondary break, however, I felt that it needed an entire post dedicated to it. Italy ran a great secondary look to get their point guard an immediate touch in different ways other than bringing the ball up and running "Do Him" or a simple high ball screen. If you have a great point guard, I would look into running some of the Italian secondary options. 

Secondary Break Basics
The secondary break appears to come out of their primary break. Their primary break is pretty standard. The big runs to the front of the rim and the wings run to the deep corners. 

The point guard brings the ball up to a guard/slot spot, the post pops up to the ball side elbow, and they are into their secondary.
**Editors note:  If you are the kind of coach who likes your 4 to take it out, the 4 and 2 can be interchanged in all of these diagrams. 

Hand off to Back Screen to Pick and Roll
This wasn't the first option they ran, but I feel like it was a better one to start with. The point guard passes to the opposite guard, then comes back and takes the hand off. The off guard (2) peels off a back screen by 5 immediately after the hand off. Right after setting the back screen, the 5 comes up and sets a ball screen for the point guard who drives to the rim. The wings (3,4) lift up and the 2 fills out opposite the drive. The post player rolls to the rim and then they get into their other offense. 

Here is some video of the secondary. What I like is that the back screen forces the 5's defender to help, thus making the ball screen virtually naked. It also sucks in the back side corner's (3) defender which can open up some options as well. One thing players have to look for is the pitch back across to the 2 filling the corner if his guys camps in the lane. 


Point Guard Flair
This is a great counter to the secondary look from above. The players start 2-1-2 look with the post at the ball side elbow. The point throws across to the 2 man and starts to sprint to the pass like he's going to take the hand off - which draws the defender farther toward the ball. The 1 then reverses course comes back off the flair and then looks for a pass. From there he can shoot it or drive it. 
Below is a short video clip of the Italians running the guard flair look. The flair was a little bit late and almost looked like an awkward ball screen.

Simple yet effective. I would love the see the 5 slip the screen to the middle of the lane and look for the ball right away and on the skip. That would add another scoring option to the set.

Pin Down to Screen the Screener to Hand Off
The 1 comes down and enters to the 2 as usually happens. The 1 then sprints to the ball side corner and sets the down screen for the wing (4) there. The 5 steps out and the 2 reverses the ball to the 5 man. 

The 4 curls the pin down to the rim and the 2 goes to set a screen for the screener (1). The 1 comes off the screen set by 2 to the top for a shot. If he doesn't get the shot 5 dribbles at 1 who comes over and takes the hand off the. Opposite corner (3) raises up and the 2 and 4 fill out. They play from there.

Down Screen to Handoff to Flair to Pick and Roll
In this set they set a down screen for the corner player who popped up. The 1 made the pass, came back and got it, and the corner man (4) came off a flair set by 5. 

They they run a pick and roll right after the flair and the 4 drives the middle while everyone else spots up.

In closing, the Italians ran a bunch of different quick hitters in their secondary, if you are a secondary guy it would be well worth watching the game and finding some things that you liked. These were just three simple actions they ran that I like because they fit together and force the defense to defend some different actions when guarding your point guard. 

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