Pirate Continuity Offense: The Scourge Of Defenses By Ron Ashlaw, Former Head Boys Varsity Coach University High School Chicago Ill.

THE OPPORTUNITIES CREATED by our Pirate Offense allow us to maximize our team’s strengths and put opposing teams in situations that are difficult to defend.

The Pirate is designed to create potential match-up problems in the post area and puts your best scorer in situations to get great looks at the basket.

Entries Into Pirate

There are three primary entries that we use to flow into the pirate continuity offense.

  • Stack.
  • Swing.
  • Box Low.

Diagram 1

DIAGRAM 1: Stack Entry. 4 and 5 pin screen for 2 and 3 to free them up at the wing areas.

Diagram 2

DIAGRAM 2: Swing Entry. 3 and 5 pin screen for 2 to break toward the wing area. 4 pin screens for 3 who cuts to the wing area opposite 2.

Diagram 3

DIAGRAM 3: Box-Low Entry. 3 and 5 cross-screen for 2 who breaks to the wing area. 4 pin screens for 3 who cuts to the wing area opposite 2.

Diagram 4

DIAGRAM 4: Entry Passes. Once the wings have gotten open the ball can be entered to either side from the point. 1 downscreens for 5 who uses the screen and pops to the top of the key.

Pirate Continuity

Diagram 5

DIAGRAM 5: Pirate Offense (A). 2 looks into 4 posting up. If there’s nothing there he or she reverses the ball to 5 on top. 5 quickly reverses the ball over to 3.

Diagram 6

DIAGRAM 6: Pirate Offense (B). 1 cross-screens for 4 bringing him into the post. This is where we are looking to take advantage of some match-up problems (by using the little-to-big screen). 3 looks for 4 flashing into the post.

Diagram 7

DIAGRAM 7: Pirate Offense (C). After 1 cross-screens he or she widens out to the short corner. 5 and 2 set staggered screens for 1. 3 looks for 1 coming off the stagger.

Diagram 8

DIAGRAM 8: Pirate Offense (D). 5 dives into the post and 2 pops to the wing after the staggered screens are set. 3 pass to 1 on top.

Diagram 9

DIAGRAM 9: Pirate Offense (E). Here the continuous action repeats itself. The offense can be run to keep a particular post player coming off the little-to-big screen or the action can be designed to alternate between post players.

1 swings the ball over to 2. After making the pass 1 breaks down the lane and sets a downscreen for 4. 4 uses the screen and pops to the top of the key. 2 looks for 5 in the low block.

Diagram 10

DIAGRAM 10: Pirate Offense (F). If there wasn’t a good look inside for a post-up opportunity by 5 then 2 swings the ball back up to the top to 4. 4 quickly swings the ball over to 3.

1 breaks into the middle of the lane and sets a cross-screen for 5 who flashes to the ball-side block.

After setting the screen 1 cuts to the weak-side corner.

Diagram 11

DIAGRAM 11: Pirate Offense (G). On the weak side 2 and 4 set staggered screens for 1 who uses both screens and pops to the top of the key.

3 looks to enter the ball into the post for 5 or hits 1 for a 3-point shot at the top of the key.

Variation: “Pirate 3”

To put a different shooter into a position to use the staggered screens we use a variation called “Pirate 3.”

Diagram 12

DIAGRAM 12: Pirate Offense “Pirate 3” (A). 1 passes to 2. After throwing the pass 1 breaks into the lane and sets a downscreen for 5 on the weak-side low block. 5 uses 1’s screen and pops to the top of the key.

Diagram 13

DIAGRAM 13: Pirate Offense “Pirate 3” (B). 2 looks to feed 4 in the post. On the weak side 3 breaks down and sets a screen for 1 who uses the screen and breaks wide to the weak-side wing area.

If the post-entry pass to 4 isn’t available 2 should pass back to 5 at the top of the key.

Diagram 14

DIAGRAM 14: Pirate Offense “Pirate 3” (C). 5 quickly reverses the ball to 1 on the weak side. As the ball is being reversed from 5 to 1 3 breaks across the lane and sets a cross-screen for 4. 4 uses the screen and breaks to the opposite low block. After setting the screen 3 widens to the opposite short corner.

Upon receiving the pass from 5 1 looks to hit 4 in the post for a high-percentage post-up shot opportunity.

Diagram 15

DIAGRAM 15: Pirate Offense “Pirate 3” (D). On the weak side 2 and 5 set staggered screens 3 who uses the screens and breaks to the top of the key.

Coaching Point: If the defense (3 2 or 5’s defenders) switches at the top of the staggered screens 5 must look to quickly “slip the screen” and roll toward the basket.

1 looks to hit 5 rolling toward the basket or passes to 3 for a 3-point shot opportunity on top.





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