Box Offense: Basket Screen (Zone Offense)

The Box Offense lends itself to being effective against zone defences because of the condensed starting position of all players. This starting point means all defensive players are in motion from the start of the offense being reactive, rather than proactive. The Basket Screen Play form the Box Offense forces defenders to make decisions and plays on their weaknesses.


The Box Offense Basket Screen Play places a number of players around the keyway ensuring high percentage shots are the dominant option selected.

Box Offense: Basket Screen (Zone Offense) Diagram 1
Box Offense: Basket Screen (Zone Offense) Diagram 1

The Basket Screen Box Formation Zone Offense starts with the perimeter players at the high posts of the keyway. It is important to have your team’s better three-point shooters in these positions as these are the players that peel off to the outside during the offenses rotations.


One (1) initiates a side to dribble towards. There is not preference initially unless there is a particularly poor player match-up or defensive weakness.


One (1) looks to dribble into the position of elbow extended. As the ball handler initiates a side, the strong side high post (Two) relocates to the double-block extended on the three-point line. This position can be a little shallower if the player moving into the position does not have particularly good shooting range.


The position however is very important in needing to be well below the foul line extended. This is because in this position it is often a teaching point that the defence within a zone will rotate from the bottom when the ball is below the foul line.


The position of double block extended will also provide a slightly longer closeout for the bottom player rotating to guard the ball. Meaning the rest of the offensive players will have as much time as possible to move into their positions.

Box Offense: Basket Screen (Zone Offense) Diagram 2
Box Offense: Basket Screen (Zone Offense) Diagram 2

If the defence rotates from the bottom of the zone then this will allow for the best possible scenario for the Box Offense to be effective.


As the low block defender rotates to guard Two (2):


The strong side low post (Four) will screen and then seal onto the middle player of the zone before sealing to gain a strong interior position. The ideal position is for Four (4) to be sealing on the rim with the defender on the players back away from the ball.


Five (5), the weak side low post will flash to just below the strong side high post. It is important in this position for Five (5) to stay under the defender occupying the high post and be a possible target. By doing this Five (5) helps hold a long passing lane to Four (4) at the basket.


Three (3) then dives to the strong side low post which has been vacated by the rotating on-ball defender and Four (4) screening towards the split-line.


Scoring Options


  • Two (2) if the defence is confused by the guarding responsibilities may have ample time to shoot an uncontested three pointer. In extreme cases Two (2) might even be able to take a dribble before needing to shoot.
  • Four (4) will have a deep seal on the basket.
  • Five (5) if receiving a pass as the player is lifting could potentially be in a scoring position once breaking the split line.
  • Finally, Three (3) on the dive to the strong side of the backboard. The better the seal by Four (4) the closer this shot will be for Three (3).


Timing of the offense is important to ensure the density of movements does not result in the defence having too much time to scramble and cover all receivers.


As the defender is rotating to guard the ball, Four (4) and Five (5) make their moves. Three (3) holds for a count of one before cutting into position.

Box Offense: Basket Screen (Zone Offense) Diagram 3
Box Offense: Basket Screen (Zone Offense) Diagram 3

If the defensive rotation comes from the top of the zone then the following counter is initiated.


Two (2) must hold the ball until the close-out by the defender is almost complete before reversing the ball back to One (1).


One (1) freeze dribbles the guard off the ball at the top of the zone who would now have rotated to the strong side high post. If One (1) can attack the outside shoulder of the defender this will force this player to move further across and out of the keyway.


As One (1) dribbles the ball:


  • Four (4) attempts to button-hook seal the strong side low post defender.
  • Five flashes to the front of the basket on the split line. If the middle defender in the zone lifts then Five (5) can seal in behind looking for the lob. If the defender stays, Five (5) will look to get a deep seal directly on the front of the rim.


Three (3) look to hold position as possible passing target for an uncontested jump shot.


Scoring Options


  • Four (4) if successful in gaining an interior seal on defender
  • Five (5) on flash to the basket
  • Three (3) for the weak side high post uncontested shot


If not score results, players reset into the Box Offense for another run through.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *