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How to Coach the Continuous-Weave Basketball Offense

Some day every coach will not have a high-scoring pivot-player that he can depend upon. If you find yourself in this position, but have a good pair of high scoring guards with equal support from a couple of forwards, this may be a good offense to use.

With these factors in mind, plus the basic requirements of all good attacking patterns:

  • continuity of movement
  • rebounding strength
  • defensive and offensive balance

In all the Player #3 should be your regular pivot player and should be a good rebounding role player. Players 4 and 5 are the width of the free-throw lane apart. Their defenders determine their positions somewhat; however, experience tells us their best position is about two steps outside the circle.

Begin the Offense as follows:

Box Weave Basketball offensive diagramSt. Ben Weave - Diagram 1

Player 1 passes to 2 as 3 and 4 hold their positions until 1 sets his inside screen for 5. As 1 comes over to set this screen, it is important that 2 fake a drive to his right because this influences the defense, adding to the effectiveness to the weave.

Meanwhile 3 and 4 break across the lane, timing their moves to meet slightly in front of the goal, shoulder to shoulder, with 4 taking the path under the goal, nearest the baseline.

Player 4 after clearing the screen, moves quickly up the court, but should not swing so wide as to give his defender a chance to get back into the play.

Box Weave Basketball offensive diagramSt. Ben Weave - Diagram 2

2 dribble across court, passes to 4 coming to meet the ball, then forms a double screen with 5.

Player4 has several scoring possibilities. He may take a shot over the double screen, or swing back for a drive to the basket.

Should 4 shoot over the screen, 5, 2, and 3 go the basket to rebound any missed shot. 1 watches the backcourt while 4 also maintains defensive balance but looks for long rebounds.

Box Weave Basketball offensive diagramSt. Ben Weave - Diagram 3

Another opportunity is the second step in the continuation. Player 4 drives to his right around the double screen with the idea in mind of driving to the basket should the opportunity exist.

As 4 drives by the screen, 1 moves to set an inside screen for 3. Player 2 moves to take 3's original position under the basket.

If the opportunity to drive to the basket does not present itself, 3 receives a pass from 4 at about the free throw line. Player 3 takes a shot if open and with 4, and 5 go for the rebound. Players 1 and 2 would maintain defensive safety positions.

Box Weave Basketball offensive diagramSt. Ben Weave - Diagram 4

If 3 does not have a good shot, 4 continues on to set a screen for 1. 3 then dribbles around 5 and passes to 2 who fakes toward the basket coming back outside 3 for the pass.

As before, 2 can shoot over the double screen of 5 and 3, reverse drive to the basket, dribble drive to his right around the screen and passing to 1 coming off 4's screen as in Diagram 5.

Box Weave Basketball offensive diagramSt. Ben Weave - Diagram 5

The weave by 1, 2, 3, and 4 can be continued until you get a good scoring opportunity. Player 5 always goes to the basket for rebounds whenever a shot is taken.

Players in the original places held by 3 and 4 form the rest of rebounding triangle. 1 and 2 become defensive safeties.

How to Teach the Weave

With a coach or manager in the 3, or pivot, position start slowly, teaching the continuous pattern as in the following diagrams.

Box Weave Basketball offensive diagramBox Weave Basketball offensive diagram
Box Weave Basketball offensive diagramBox Weave Basketball offensive diagram
Box Weave Basketball offensive diagramKeep running this without pause, or shots. The purpose is to learn the pattern. Explain to the players, your reason for this drill. Make sure they understand their positions, wherever it may be.

After, they learn the changes of positioning, add the pivot player to the mix and work on the action illustrated in the first five diagrams.

The Free-lance Game

Whenever a basketball pass is made into the pivot player, this signals a split-the-post play. To keep the defense honest and prevent the weak-side defenders from collapsing to stop the scissors play, two-man basketball plays can be executed on that side.

The Free-lance Game Diagram 1Free-lance Game #1

A free-lance game may be installed into this patterned basketball offense. Whenever a pass is made into #3, a scissors play is executed around the post. This play may be run on either side of the floor depending on the position of the pivot player.

The Free-lance Game Diagram 2Free-lance Offense #2

To keep the defense from sagging in on the weak side to stop the split-the-post play, have this and the next option as part of the offense.

Here, player #4 passes to #5, then follows his pass to set a screen for #5. Player #5 fakes a drive left but goes right. Player #2 clears-out, taking his defender with him, setting the stage for #5 to execute a one-on-one dribble drive. This is one of the reasons that this offense requires players with great driving ability.

The Free-lance Game Diagram 3Free-lance Offense #3

Another option that can be executed from the weal-side is the following. This time player #5, after the pass and the inside screen, drives right. At this time, however, player #2 pulls to the corner outside the 3-point line for a shot.

This option is to counter 2's defender, should he drop off to pick player 5 off his drive. Players 5,3, and 1 go for rebounds and player #2 moves outside to help #4 protect the backcourt.


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