Typically those coaches utilising the Flex strategy will change into a different tactic when they face zone defence. This is because the Flex offense traditionally in its standard form struggles with the challenges posted by a lack of defensive movement and spacing on the court.
However there are some Flex offense variations which can be utilised as viable options in dealing with the issues normally experienced against a zone defence. The primary problems for Flex against a zone are:
- The primary cut in flex does no result in player movement while the ball is above the foul line extended
- The main scoring options initially in Flex offense happen in the areas closest to the baseline which is often some of the most heavily populated areas in many zone defences
- Flex struggles in many cases to overload a side of the floor forcing the zone defence to condense and guard multiple targets and passing angles
Guard to guard pass is made (One to two).
Five (5) sets screen for Three (3).
Three (3) cuts over screen to strong side low post.
Five (5) after setting the screen for the cutter “Flash” cuts to the split line on the foul line.
One (1) replaces the cutters position.
- Flex cutter (Three)
- Flare to long corner for perimeter shot (One)
- Flash cutter (Five)
If there is no scoring opportunity Five (5) replaces perimeter player and play can resume.
If playing against a zone defence Five should delay the “Pop” to the foul line and onto the perimeter.
An alternative for this flex variation which is viable against a 2-3 Zone Defence is instead of the player flaring that Two (2) can dribble to the strong side foul line extended.
From this position the Two (2) has a number of options:
A pass can be made into the Five (5) below the broken circle; from this position the five will have a shooting opportunity or draw a defender from around the basket and look for the pass into one of the receivers spots (Three or One)
A pass can be made into Three (3) in the low post; Three can then look to draw defenders and then find a team mate in a receiver spot (Five or One). In this position the best post play will likely happen from facing up to the basket
The Pass can be made into the strong side lone corner to Four (4); This force the baseline players to rotate to guard the ball and also the now filled wing position (Two)
A point of note when facing a zone defence; the lift after the screen by Five (5) needs to be delayed so there is a reduction in the probability of a three second call.
The value for this variation of the Flex offense is that it can be conducted against man to man defences and zone defences alike. This provides an opportunity for teams to move seamlessly into the offense no matter the offense being faced.
Additionally, because of the options with regards to use this offense against man to man defences the play will service to also bolster a team’s offensive playbook.