Man Continuity Offense Offers Multiple Options, Versatility And Is Tough To Defend By Will Mayer, Head Boys Coach, Middletown North High School, Middletown, N.J.

THE MAN CONTINUITY offense has several options that may appeal to teams with different strengths. It is centered around concepts that seem to be difficult to defend such as little-to-big cross-screens, perimeter backscreens, screen-the-screener actions or weak-side post duck-ins that take away a sagging defense.

The offense is easy to teach and we’ve had success implementing it with a whole-part-whole method when introducing the basic continuity movements. Through using the drills — such as the ones that appear in this article — you can slowly introduce the offense in a 3 or 4 players series.

Diagram 1

DIAGRAM 1: Man Continuity Offense (A). 1 passes to 2. 4 breaks up and sets a backscreen for 1, who cuts to the ball-side block. After setting the screen, 4 rolls to the top.

Diagram 2

DIAGRAM 2: Man Continuity Offense (B). 2 passes the ball back out to 4 on the top and then rolls to the block. As this is occurring, 5 ducks in to the the middle of the lane. After setting the screen, 1 pops wide to the wing to keep the floor spread.

4 looks to hit 2 or 5 for a scoring opportunity.

Diagram 3

DIAGRAM 3: Man Continuity Offense (C). If 2 or 5 aren’t open, then 2 breaks across the lane and sets a cross-screen for 5. 4 passes to 1 on the wing and breaks down the lane, setting a downscreen for 2, who rolls to the top of the key. After setting the screen, 4 rolls to the weak-side low block.

1 can either shoot or look to make an entry pass in to 5 in the post.

Diagram 4

DIAGRAM 4: Man Continuity Offense (D). If there isn’t a scoring opportunity available, 1 passes to 2 on the top of the key. 2 swings the ball to 3 and cuts to the ball-side post off a screen set by 4. After setting the screen, 4 rolls to the top.

You can now repeat continuity and look for another scoring opportunity.

Diagram 5

DIAGRAM 5: Man Continuity Offense (E). 3 passes the ball out to 4 on top and cuts to the low post off a screen set by 2. 5 ducks into the middle of the lane. After setting the screen, 2 rolls wide to the wing to keep the floor spaced and balanced.

4 passes to either 2 on the low block or 5 in the lane.

Diagram 6

DIAGRAM 6: Man Continuity Offense (F). If there’s no open scoring opportunity with 2 or 5, the continuity continues as 4 passes to 2 on the wing. 3 breaks to the wing and sets a cross-screen for 5. 4 cuts into the lane and sets a downscreen for 3, who cuts to the top of the key. 2 can shoot or make a post entry to 5 on the low block.

Teaching Drills

The following three drills are helpful toward teaching the critical movements and spacing of the man continuity offense.

Diagram 7

DIAGRAM 7: 3-Line, 2-Ball Backscreen Drill. In this drill, 1 passes to 3, who takes a few dribbles to the right. As this is occurring, 2 breaks up and sets a screen for 1, who uses the screen and cuts to the basket. 3 passes to 1 for a layup.

4 (the next player in line) hits 6 with a pass. All players rotate clockwise.

Diagram 8

DIAGRAM 8: 4-Line, 2-Ball Triangle Drill. 5 passes to 1, as 3 cross-screens for 4. After the pass, 5 sets a downscreen for 3, who breaks to the top. 2 passes to 3 and 1 passes to 4. All players rotate clockwise.

Diagram 9

DIAGRAM 9: 4-Player UCLA Drill. 1 passes to 2 and 4 breaks up and sets a screen for 1. 1 makes a UCLA cut to the low post and 5 ducks into the lane. After setting the screen, 4 rolls to the top and 3 passes to 4. 4 hits 5 on the duck-in.

Special Sets, Entries

The downside to a continuity offense is that the defense may begin to cheat and get comfortable with your player’s patterns and movements. To combat this defensive tendency, we’ve developed several quick-hitting options that have served well as counters.

Diagram 10

DIAGRAM 10: “Play 1” (A). This play is ideal if 3 is denied the defense is cheating and denying 3 the ball on the reversal. 1 passes to 2, who fakes a pass to 3. 4 breaks up and sets a screen for 2, who dribbles down. 3 fades into the corner 5 pops to the top of the key. 2 looks for pick-and-roll game with 4 or a dump pass to 3.

Diagram 11

DIAGRAM 11: “Play 1” (B). If the pick-and-roll wasn’t there, then 2 passes 5 who quickly reverses the ball to 1. 4 screens for 3 and cuts to the top off a downscreen by 5.

Diagram 12

DIAGRAM 12: “Play 2” (A). This is a good play to use if 2’s defender is cheats on 2’s cut. 1 passes to 2, who quickly passes to 3. 4 breaks up and screens for 2, who uses the screen, but then cuts back and curls around a re-screen by 4.

Diagram 13

DIAGRAM 13: “Play 2” (B). 3 passes to 2, who dribbles to the middle and passes to 1. 5 cuts up and sets a screen for 2 who cuts to the ball-side low post.

Diagram 14

DIAGRAM 14: “Play 3” (A). If 2’s defender plays denial defense, then 1 dribbles toward the top and looks to hit 4 popping up to the foul line. 3 drifts to the top and 2 cuts to the wing, then replaces 4 on the weak-side block.

Diagram 15

DIAGRAM 15: “Play 3” (B). 3 passes to 3, as 2 cross-screens for 5, who rolls to the ball side. After setting the screen, 2 pops to the top off 4’s downscreen. 3 looks for 5 in the post.





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