- Part I: The Purpose
- Part II: Why Change?
- Part III: Importance of Fundamentals
- Part IV: The Basics
- Part V: The Breakdown
- Part VI: Defense
- Part VII: 6 Reasons Why Dribbling Actions Are Taught First
- Part VIII: Building Blocks vs. Drills
- Part IX: Combining Layers
- The 8 C’s of Post Play
- Teaching Basketball Players To Play the Game
- The Simplicity of the Game
Admittedly, the R&R is a significantly different style of basketball from traditional systems. While the change may seem difficult at first, it is liberating and powerful for players and coaches. There are numerous advantages to playing this style of basketball.
- Emphasis on Offensive Team Fundamentals
- Player Movement
- Ball Movement
- Coaching Advantages
- Compression of time frames in practice
- Provides framework for developing strengths and weaknesses
- Ability to use the same drills to teach offense and defense
- Player Advantages
- Allows players to take advantage of their strengths
- Hides players weaknesses
- Allows players to make plays
- Reduces need for a specific type of player
- Reduces what players have to think about
- Competitive Advantages
- Unpredictable movement
- Constant movement
- Incorporates any offensive concept
- Works against any defense
Spacing, ball movement, and player movement are the three most important qualities in any offense. Playing offense in this way has these three qualities inherently. There is no hoping that your offense has these qualities. If your teams stick to the very basic teaching points that you repeat every day, they will be spaced. They will move the ball, and they will move themselves. In fact, it becomes difficult for them not to play offense without these three most critical qualities.
As a coach, I always think we need to cover more information. Practice is never long enough. We always feel like we need to spend more time working on something. The R&R doesn’t change that feeling, but it does allow us to cover more in that time than we could traditionally. Skill development occurs every day. It becomes part of the same drills that are used to teach the offense. Defensive drills are the same drills that we use to teach the offense. The drills don’t have to change. All that we have to change is the emphasis depending on what we’re trying to work on. The number of drills that we can run is long as well. If one drill gets “boring,” there are plenty more that we can use to teach skills or team concepts. Regardless, every time we do a drill, we are working on some aspect of the offense, even though that may not be the emphasis. Habits are slowly being created every day as we repeat the layers over and over again.
This style of play allows players to use their strengths to be successful. A shooter can find ways to get open shots. Numerous driving opportunities will be created for penetrators. Versatile players can take advantage of mismatches that may occur. Post players can play to their own strengths without having to worry about their weaknesses. The highly skilled players will have more success in this offense. However, even one-dimensional players can find success in the R&R without the coach having to make special accommodations for that player. Less skilled players can also find a role.
It’s unlikely that a championship team can be comprised solely of role players. The R&R doesn’t change the fact that talent matters. However, different kinds of talent can work with the R&R. Teams don’t need to have a specific composition to be successful in the R&R. They can all have similar skill sets or they can all be different. Each player is able to do what they do well, while the offense will continue to function. The more talented a player is the more they will be able to take advantage of what the R&R offers.
Basketball IQ is not required to play this style of offense. Although the offense’s name starts with the word “READ”, the reads are simple and the reactions are predicated. If the player passes, they cut to the basket. This is a habit that can be drilled. If a player attacks the basket to the right, the other players rotate in the same direction. Again this is a very simple read and a very basic habit that can be drilled until it is instinct. No thought process is involved. Again a high IQ player will be able to use that IQ to take better advantage of the opportunities that the offense will create. However, a high basketball IQ is not required for the offense to work.
As players spend more time in the offense, their IQ will grow. When certain actions become habit, they begin to see other options that the offense gives them. As coaches, we can dictate that certain players do certain things if they don’t do it on their own, if we think it is important for them to do so. We can foster the development of their IQ, but it is not a requirement for the offense to work.
This style of play is very unpredictable. Players have significant freedom to make the offense work. Coaches can add rules to the offense as they deem necessary. However, in it’s purest form, players follow their trained habits until a scoring opportunity is found. Since the offense is always moving, defenses must continue to work to defend it. There are very few breaks for defenses against the R&R. Especially if the offense is looking to be aggressive, one small slip up by the defense will likely lead to an open scoring opportunity.
This helps make drills less predictable as well. Have you ever been in practice and the drills aren’t very game like? How much of that is because when players have the ball, they feel restricted to certain actions? What if players felt more freedom in drills because this is how they are encouraged to play? Your defense will improve because they won’t be able to easily predict what’s about to happen.
The offense also incorporates any offensive concept that a coach prefers. A well oiled R&R team would be able to emphasize specific actions for a certain opponent based on their defensive strategies. They would be able to employ different concepts as needed. Regardless, the R&R will provide numerous scoring opportunities. It is only up to the players on the court to convert. The R&R is flexible enough to be able to attack any type of defense. Only a couple small adjustments need to be made in order to play against zone defenses. The same concepts and principles work against press, trapping, and junk defenses. Players don’t have to worry about what defense the other team is in. They just have to follow their rules and they will find ways to score. Again, the question is can they convert?
So many coaches are worried about being scouted. Please scout us. Can I send you film? The more time you spend worrying about us, the less time you’re focused on your team. We don’t know what is going to happen from one possession to another. Actually, I am pretty sure what’s going happen. We are going to be spaced, we are going to move the ball, and we’re going to move without the ball. We’re either going to get a shot attempt in the lane (over half the time), get an open shot from the perimeter (we pass up as many as we take), get fouled, or we’re going to make an aggressive turnover. I don’t know how that’s going to happen. I don’t really care how it happens. However, I do know that we’re going to find a good scoring opportunity more often than not. This means that if we don’t make our first shot, we’re probably going to be in pretty good offensive rebounding position. The question becomes are we consistently able to put the ball in the basket.
You can tell your team that we run the R&R. You can scout our tendencies. You can tell you’re team that we’re aggressive. You can play with 5 defenders in the lane or you can pressure us. It doesn’t matter. We’re going to play the way we want. If you have better athletes than us, you may win. If we have better athletes, then we’ll probably win anyway. If we’re even athletically, our style of play is going to be tough for anyone to beat. You have to hope that we struggle putting the ball in the basket.
Up Next…..the Importance of Fundamentals….