Weave man-to-man offense a versatile threat
The weave man-to-man offense seems to have been resurrected over the last several years. This offense can be used as a basic man-to-man offense to get into a motion offense passing game, a continuity offense, delay game or last-second-shot offense.
There are numerous sets where this offense can be initiated with various options after a handoff takes place. The number of handoffs that take place before one of the many options is run should be predetermined by the coaching staff and communicated to the players.
Our team uses two handoffs before initiating specific options to attack the defense. We feel that two handoffs are enough to lull the defense into thinking that this is a passive offense that won’t attack their defense in any manner.
After the second handoff, all our players know that the “offense is live” and the option that was called should now be run. In addition, two handoffs put the ball back into the hands of your point guard, who most likely is your best handler and passer.
A major weakness of the weave offense is that defensive trapping or jump-switching on the handoff is one of the most common ways to defend the offense. The offense’s dribbler and screener must know how to properly handoff the ball, and how to effectively screen the cutter’s defender. The cutter must always be aware of the potential traps and double-teams, and know how to set the defender up as well as “scrape off” the teammate’s (handoff) screen.
Weave initial sets
There are three offensive sets that you can utilize effectively to begin the offense. These are the 1-4 high alignment, the 1-2-2 box-set high, and the 1-4 low alignment.
Initial actions & counter moves
All three offensive alignments can be utilized to run with counter moves.
DIAGRAM 4: First dribble-handoff. This shows the basic movement of the first handoff with the first dribbler (2) dribbling toward one of the wing spots (to the right side in this diagram example), then dribble-screening and making the handoff to the wing-cutter (3).
DIAGRAM 5: Second dribble-handoff. When the first wing-cutter (2) becomes the new dribbler, he or she dribbles toward the opposite wing area (toward 3 in this example) to make the second handoff.
DIAGRAM 6: Counter move. To keep the defense from anticipating the movements of the weave offense, run a counter out of any of the three alignments during any of the three handoffs.
The dribbler or cutter signals for the counter move by tapping his or her head as he or she approaches the handoff receiver. This counter should be called when the defense is going to jump-switch, jump-trap or initiate a strong denial on the cutter. Any dribbler or cutter can make the call to signal the counter.
If the dribbler (1) doesn’t hit the overplayed backdoor cutter (2), he or she retains the dribble, reverses it, utilizes the ball-side block player’s (5) ball screen at the top of the key, and continues to the opposite wing to look for the handoff on the other side. He or she may also pass to 5, who is centered up at the top of the key. If this happens, 5 should then restart the weave.
DIAGRAM: 7: Counter move (continued). The backdoor cutter (2) that doesn’t receive the pass should take the original ball-side block player’s spot on the low-post block, while that player (5) ends up at his or her original wing spot. This is an excellent way to get the two post players involved in the dribbling-handoff action if desired.
Options off weave action
Again, our team initiates the action of the options after making the second handoff — the ‘live handoff’ — to run any of the options listed below. If your designated option doesn’t lead to a good shot, your players can simply reset and start the weave over.
Any combination of sets and options can be used with the idea that not all sets and not all options should be used in a particular season. Utilizing some sets and a few options prevents the defense from being able to predict and defend your offense.
DIAGRAM 8: Spin-screen option. This inside action is simply the new ball-side block player (5) ducking in after the “live handoff” and spinning off of the backscreen from the weak-side block player (4). The “duck in” causes the defender to devote all of their attention to it leaving them completely blind and exposed to the backscreen. The backscreener should be ready to duck in aggressively, especially if the interior defenders switch this spin-screen.
If nothing develops from this action, the dribbler can continue on to the wing and continue the screen/handoff action. This may also be used at the conclusion of a secondary break
DIAGRAM 9: Pick-and-roll option. After the “live handoff,” the weak-side block player (4) flashes to the top of the key, sets a ball screen on the dribbler and rolls to the basket. As this action takes place, the original ball-side block player flashes to the top of the key for several reasons. One is to wipe out any help for the defense on the pick and roll, and to provide floor balance and more adequate defensive transition protection.
DIAGRAM 10: Slip-screen option. This option is similar to the previous option, except the new ball-side block player (5) flashes across the lane and posts up on the new ball-side block.
The new weak-side block player (4) sets the ball screen at the top of the key, “slips the screen” and remains there for floor balance.
DIAGRAM 11: Lob option. This appears to be the same as the pick-and-roll or slip-screen options but attacks the defense in a different manner. The new weak-side block player (4) pops up to the top of the key and sets a ball screen for the new dribbler (1) that is approaching. The new ball-side block player (5) comes up to set a screen on the ball screener (4), who cuts off the screen and looks for the lob. The fundamentally sound and time-tested offensive concept of “pick the picker” utilized in this option is very effective.
DIAGRAM 12: Duck-in option. This is very effective when the new weak-side perimeter player (2) comes over to the top of the key to set a ball screen for the new dribbler (1). After that screen is utilized, the ball screener continues to set a perimeter off-the-ball screen on the other wing player (3).
As that perimeter action takes place, the new weak-side block player (4) ducks in to the dotted circle, while the new ball-side block player (5) cuts through to the opposite deep corner.
John Kimble coached basketball for 20 years in Illinois and Florida, accumulating more than 340 wins. He has authored five coaching books, 90 articles and created 28 coaching videos. He can be found at www.CoachJohnKimble.com.