2.1.1 Read and react offence
“Read and React” Offence is not a set or structured offence. Instead it is a framework that relies upon “reads and reactions” in a 2 player context, which are combined into a seamless framework for 5 players.
Teaching the offence requires “drilling” the “reads and reactions” into the 2 player context so that they become habits. The offence is differentiated from a “motion” offence because it does stipulate specific actions that a player is to take and in the “read and react” offence the key is what the person with the ball does. Players without the ball act based upon the action of the ball handler. In contrast, a “motion offence” teaches players to react both to their defender and also to the movement and position of their team mates.
The offence has many “layers”, which add complexity to what the team will do. The layers are taught in sequence, however a particular team may not work through all layers, depending upon their skills and experience.
The offence is most effective the better the skills of individual players, so coaches must teach and practice fundamental skills, not just work on team movements.
For simplicity, the offence is often initially taught in a 5 Out alignment, which emphasizes that all players must be able to play on the perimeter. Below is an overview of the foundations of the read and react offence. There are DVDs and other materials available for coaches wanting further information about the offence.
Layer 1 – Dribble Penetration and Circle Movement
On any dribble penetration, the dribbler looks to penetrate “to the rim” (i.e. get the lay-up), however they will also have the following passing options:
- Pass to a perimeter player that is opposite
- Pass back to a person behind them
- Pass to a baseline cutter
Layer 2 – Baseline Penetration
On baseline penetration, the player in the opposite corner stays as this is a good passing angle.
The other players continue circular movement, although it may be smaller movement. On baseline penetration, the dribbler must have 4 passing options:
- Opposite corner
- Opposite side – 45 degree
- Same side – 90 degree
- Same side – behind (safety)
The baseline penetration rule may mean that a player rotates in the opposite direction to the “circle”. For example, in a “4 Out, 1 In” alignment, the movement is:
- 4 drops to the opposite corner (even though this is not in the direction of circle movement)
- 5 lifts to 45 degree position, but at the post not on the perimeter
- 3 moves to the 90 degree position
- 1 moves to the safety (behind) position
Layer 3 – Back Cuts and Pass & Cut
The next layer introduces the “pass and cut”, which is one of the simplest yet effective moves in any “invasion” sport, whether that is basketball, football, hockey etc.
Layer 4 – Post Movement on dribble penetration
When a dribbler penetrates the key, any post player moves according to the following rules:
- If the penetration into the key comes from below the post player or along the baseline, the post moves up to the elbow
- If the penetration into the key comes from above the post player, the post steps to the short corner which (if their defender steps out) creates more room for the dribbler or (if the defender stays in the key) creates a passing lane.
Layer 5 – Speed Dribble
The “speed dribble” is a non-penetrating dribble (i.e. it moves from perimeter position to another perimeter position) and forces a backdoor cut which then triggers other perimeter movement.
Layer 6 – Power Dribble (Dribble Hand-Off)
A power dribble is used to initiate a dribble hand off. It may be used as a pressure release or to get the ball into the hands of a better ball handler. It can be signalled either by using a sideways “step-slide” dribble or other visual signal (e.g. tapping the chest).