Loading... Please wait...

The X Game - A Simplified Zone Motion Offense

Posted by

A tactic that is becoming increasingly popular today is that of a 2-3 zone defense. By utilizing a zone defense it allows teams to do several things:

  • Protect the paint
  • Hide poor and/or un-athletic defenders
  • Play 3 frontline players without getting exposed on defense

    In order to combat this adjustment, coaches of all levels need to have in place a zone motion offense. While quick hitting offensive sets are good to get quick looks at the basket a zone motion offense brings one important thing to the table;  it makes the defense shift side to side. It is here after the defense has shifted several times where it is most vulnerable.

    A popular zone motion offense that is being ran today at all levels of basketball is called X Game. X Game is essentially a 3 out 2 in motion offense in which the two inside players work in harmony executing an x-ing action between the high and low posts. By performing these movements simultaneously the offense can maintain good spacing while taking advantage of the gaps of the defense.

    Let's take a look at the basic but effective rotations of X Game:

    The point guard or whoever is at the top of the key enters the ball to either wing. The strong side top defender will match up on the new ball handler while the off ball top defender will drop to cover the high post. The weakside inside player, in this case 4, will flash hard to the high post looking for the ball.


      

    The ballhandler will then reverse the ball back up to the top of the key who will then in return swing the ball to 3 on the other wing. As the ball is swung, the off ball top defender, X2, will pursue the ball to the top of the key and then to the weakside wing where they will bump off the bottom forward defender X4 to the short corner.

      

    Once the ball is on the wing, 4, who was previously occupying the high post will cut hard to the strong side block. As this happens 5 will flash hard to the high post performing the "x-ing" action.

      

    Here the wing has several options. He can either pass the ball to the post player cutting to the block, hit the top of the key if X1 is defending the high post OR enter the ball into the high post to 5. It is important that your players understand  that the high post is your first option. By getting the ball into the belly of the defense it opens up options. From here the high post can shoot, drive, pass hi-low or kick out to the weakside for a three pointer.

      

    If the ball is passed back to the top of the key a great drive lane is presented. Emphasize to your perimeter players that this is a great time to attack the defense with the dribble.

      

    If 1 chooses to reverse the ball, the defense will shift according to their principles. As the ball is swung, the off ball top defender will pursue the ball to the top of the key and then to the weakside wing where they will bump off the bottom forward defender X3 to the short corner.

      

    Once on the wing, the two inside players will t hen again perform their "x-ing" action. 5 will cut hard to the strong side block while 4 will flash to the high post looking to receive an entry pass.

      

    X Game is a great offense for several reasons:

    1. It is very simple but highly effective!

    2. It can be used at lower levels of competition to teach players spacing and zone offense fundamentals.

    3. It can be used at high levels of play to exploit zone defense because of the mismatches that are created through ball reversals.

    4. Because of its 3 out 2 in spacing it works great with quick hitting sets.

    5. Lastly, players love running this offense because it provides great spacing and allows them the opportunity to create when the right situation presents itself.

Please add a comment:

comments powered by Disqus