Reverse Action Offense

 

What to Discover or Recall:

The Reverse Action Offense was first introduced and utilized by Hall of Fame Coach, Pete Newell, back in the late fifties. Although the basic guard around continuity is fairly simple, it is a bear to defend because of its precise execution and footwork. The weakside wing's rub cut off a post screen to the basket is its most recognizable option; however, Reverse Action also affords for a very strong post up game along with a two player guard around isolation along with providing numerous quick hitting counters against any defensive overplay.

| Reverse Action Cut | Entries | Guard Around | Post Action | Post Reads | Overplays | Specials |

5 Stars

Basic Continuity

O1 makes an entry pass to wing O3 and executes a guard around cut to the corner. If a shot is not available on the guard around action, the weakside wing O4 then makes a rub cut off O5 to the basket. Off guard O2 moves to center of court for a possible reverse pass from O3.

If O4 does not receive a pass on the reverse action rub cut or posting up, O3 then makes a reversal pass out to O2. O2 in turn passes to O5 stepping out and executes a guard around cut with O5 to the corner. O1 moves out to the center of the court as O3 rubs off O4's screen.

The Reverse Action continuity continues when O5 makes a reversal pass out to O1.

 


5 Stars

Reverse Action Cut

The key to the Reverse Action offense is patience and execution of off ball post screens. Since offensive options are dictated by how the defense is playing, players must be efficient in recognizing and attacking defensive deployment. It takes three components to successfully execute an off ball screen: Passer, Screener, and Receiver. All three have to think and function as one unit. This requires proper footwork, timing, non-verbal communication, and experience. Proper screen execution does not only free up shooters, but it also eliminates any offensive fouls.

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Over the Top Cut

Read: Defender plays low.

As the ball is being passed to the opposite wing, O3 walks defender X3 into the post's screen. If the defender plays to low or baseline side, O3 fakes low and cuts high over the top of O4's screen.

Baseline Cut

Read: Defender plays high.

When the defender X3 plays high in a pass denial position, O3 fakes high and cuts low off O4's screen.

Screener Pop Option

Read: Post Defender Shows & Recovers.

Any time the post defender X4 drops off to help out against the wing cut, post O4 steps up anticipating a pass from wing O5.

Screener Dives

Read: Defender plays high.

When the defense Switches against the rub cut, the screener O4 assumes a position facing the passer. O3 steps defender X3 down and then cuts over the top of O4's screen as the defender X5 switches, screener O4 breaks directly to the basket for a feed from O5.

 


5 Stars

Reverse Action Entries

Reverse Action does not rely on a single entry pass which makes it very difficult to disrupt. Any pass and/or dribble can initiate the Reverse Action continuity. Although team personnel will favor certain entries, the defense deployment will ultimately dictate which entry to use.

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Weakside Entry

Left Side Entry: Ballhandler O1 feeds O4 stepping out initiating guard around action. If/when a shot is not available off the guard around action, O3 looks to pass to O4 coming of O5's weakside screen.

Right Side Entry: Ballhandler O1 feeds O3 stepping out initiating guard around action. If/when a shot is not available off the guard around action, O4 looks to pass to O3 coming of O5's weakside screen.


Strongside Entry:

Left Side Entry: Ballhandler O1 passes to O4 and executes a guard around cut initiating sideline triangle action. If a shot is not available, O4 makes a reversal pass out to O2 initiating reverse action continuity.

Right Side Entry: Ballhandler O1 passes to O3 and executes a guard around cut initiating sideline triangle action. If a shot is not available, O3 makes a reversal pass out to O2 initiating reverse action continuity.


Dribble Clear Entry:

Back Cut: When defender X3 overplays the passing lane, O3 faces dribbler O1 and holds an open stance as O1 dribbles to the wing. O3 takes a hard step towards O1 with outside foot and then makes a quick back cut to the basket pushing off with outside foot.

Continuity: If/When O1 does not feed O3 on back cut, O3 continues out to opposite wing. O4 cuts to the basket off O5's weakside screen. O1 looks to feed O3 or makes a reversal pass out to O2.


Back Door Entry:

Back Cut: Weakside wing O4 flashes to middle for pass from O1. O2 steps defender down and back cuts to basket. O4 looks to feed O2 on back cut. Note: O1 has option of passing directly to O2 using an over the top lob pass.

Lob Pass: If/when defender X4 denies O4's flash cut, O4 back cuts to the basket looking for a lob pass from O1.

 


5 Stars

Guard Around Action

Reverse action's strong side two player game is initiated by a guard passing to wing and then following the pass with an outside (guard around) cut towards the corner. This quick hitting but simple action is predicated on proper fundamentals and execution. When the wing creates a good lead using proper footwork along with the guard anticipating and readings the defense accurately, it will surely cause defensive problems that result in a easy, open shot opportunity.

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Drive Option

READ: Defender CHASES OVER the screen.

When the defensive player X1 chases over the wing O3's handoff screen, O1 turns the corner and drives hard to the basket for lay-up.

Drive and Kick Option

READ: Weakside defenders SAG OFF and help out on drive.

If/When weakside post defenders sags off and help out against dribble penetration, ballhandler O1 executes a drop pass to open O5 under the basket.


Pull Up Jumper Option

READ: Defender GOES UNDER the screen.

When the defensive player goes under or behind wing X3, O1 pulls up for an open jump shot.

Drive Opposite Option

READ: Defender CHEATS OVER the screen early.

If/when defender X1 anticipates the guard around hand off and cheats over early, O1 immediately cuts away to the basket looking for feed from wing 03.


Roll Option

READ: Defenders SWITCH on the screen.

When the defense switches on the screen, O1 looks to feed O3 rolling to basket against smaller defender X1. If O1 cannot feed O3 on basket roll, O3 posts up the smaller defender looking for a feed from any one of the outside players.

Slip Option

READ: Defense tries to "Show & Recovers" against the screen.

When the defense tries to Show & Recover or anticipates switching on the screen, wing O3 fakes the hand off and drives opposite to the basket. If the post defender should sag off to help out on drive, O3 makes a drop pass to o5 for an easy lay up.

 


5 Stars

Sideline Triangle Action

Although the wing's rub cut is the primary way to free up players in the low post area, the guard around action as creates a sideline triangle and one-on-one post isolation very similar to the Triangle Post Offense. Sideline triangle reads and options:

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Lob Pass Option

When the defender X5 fronts post, weakside wing O4 clears out any backside help by breaking up to the free throw line. Wing O3 leads post O5 to basket with an over the top pass. When fronted post O5 seals the defense and releases for shot only after the pass is directly overhead. If the defensive player X4 should rotate down to provide backside help against the lob pass, it will create a wide open shot for O4 at the free throw line.

High Post Feed Option

Instead of making the over the top lob pass, wing O3 has option of passing to O4 for post feed since O4 has a better passing angle into post.


Post Split Option

The basic option of the sideline triangle is the post split. Wing O3 feeds the post O5 and makes a baseline cut to the basket for shot. The corner O1 uses O3 as a moving screen, and cuts tight off O3 over the top of the post for shot. If O1's is not open for shot, O1 can continue out and set a screen for O2 at top of circle.

Post Split Corner Feed

Wing O3 can also pass to O1 in the corner who in turn can initiate the post split by passing to post O5. In splitting the post, it is a general rule that the player making the pass, cuts first.


Post Split Screen Option

After passing to post, instead of making a split cut, the wing O3 can set a solid down screen for the point in the corner and then roll to the basket. The post has options of passing to O1 coming off O3's down screen or feeding O3 rolling to basket off down screen or executing a one-on-one post move after both cutters have cleared out.

High Post Split Option

When the defense anticipates the post split and over plays, after feeding post O5, O1 and O2 have option of cutting in the opposite direction. O1 executes a baseline cut looking for a quick post feed, while wing O3 cuts over the top of the post. O2 creates the high post split by cutting tight off O3.


Post Isolation Option

When the defender X5 plays behind the post, Post O5 can quickly be isolated one on one when the corner O1 and wing O3 cut directly to weakside. Corner O1 sets a back screen for O4 and O3 screens for O2. The post O5 isolated one-on-one takes X5 to the basket.

Post Sag Counter

If/when the wing O3's defender X3 sags off to prevent the post pass, O3 drives hard to the basket. Post O5 sets a back pick on X3.

 


Double Team Counter

When the defense double teams O5 in the post, O4 automatically dives to the basket looking for a feed from O5.

Kick Out Pass

If/when defender X2 drops down to help out against O4's dive to the basket, O5 looks to make a kick out pass to O2 spotting up for a wide open three point shot.

 


5 Stars

Post Isolation

For the Post Isolation to be effective, physical size alone is not enough, players posting up must be well schooled in the basic post moves. In addition, both the passer and post player must be cognizant of the location of defensive player.

Long time coach and present Laker assistant, Tex Winter, has not only brought the importance of court spacing along with the Triangle Post offense into the game, but he has also coined the phase "line of deployment" which assists players and coaches in "reading" and countering defensive post deployment.

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Reading & Countering Defensive Post Deployment

Defensive Reads: What if the...

  1. Defender plays on the HIGH SIDE of the post?  Counter

  2. Defender plays on the BASELINE SIDE of the post? Counter

  3. Defender FRONTS the post?  Counter

  4. Defender plays BEHIND the post?  Counter

  5. Defender DOUBLE TEAMS the post?  Counter


READ: Defender plays on the HIGH SIDE of the post.

COUNTER: Power Lay-up Option

When the defender X5 assumes a 3/4 pass denial position on the top side (above the line of deployment) of the post, the post should cheat up the lane, seal off the defender, and give the passer a target with the baseline hand. Passer should lead the post to the basket for power lay up. Post should maintain defensive seal until pass is overhead.

Corner Feed option. When the defense assumes a 3/4 pass denial position on the top side of the post, the wing O3 has option of passing the ball to the corner for a better passing angle into the post.


READ: Defender plays on the BASELINE SIDE of the post.

COUNTER: Baby Hook Option

When the defender X5 assumes a 3/4 pass denial position on the baseline side (below the line of deployment) of the post, the post should cheat down the lane, seal off the defender, and present the passer a target with the top hand. Passer should lead the post to the basket for baby hook. The baby hook should be executed with a quick, long, lead step into the middle with the foot pointing toward sideline or corner. Shooting arm should be kept straight using a flipping wrist motion. Shooter should be end up facing the basket on follow through.

Point Feed option. When the defense assumes a 3/4 pass denial position on the baseline side of the post, like with the post front, the wing has option of reversing the ball to the top of the circle for a better passing angle into the post.

 


READ: Defender plays BEHIND the post.

COUNTER: Turn & Face (Triple Threat)

When the defense X5 plays behind the post, the post should seal off the defender with a strong low, knees flexed stance, and give the passer a target with both hands. Upon receiving the pass, the post should make a strong pivot and face the basket assuming a triple threat position (drive, shoot or pass). Unless the defensive post is an extremely good shot blocker, the defensive player is at a big disadvantage.

Triple Threat Shot Options

  1. Jump Shot. Defender has hands down.

  2. Pump Fake and Drive. Defender anticipates and challenges shot.

  3. Step Back. One dribble drive step toward basket then a quick step back to create separation from the defense.

Note: All three Triple Threat shot options are sequential read and react (attack) moves.

 


READ: Defender FRONTS the post.

COUNTER: Post Lob Option

When the defense X5 assumes a full front denial position on the post, the post should force the defense out away from the basket, seal off the defender, and give the passer a target with the baseline hand. Passer should make a pass just over the top of the fronting defensive player. Note: It is important for the post to wait and not release the defensive seal until the pass is overhead.

Ball Reversal option. Against the post front, the wing also has option of reversing the ball to the top of the circle for a better passing angle into the post.

 

 


READ: Defenders DOUBLE TEAMS the post.

COUNTER: Pressure Release to Elbow

Elbow Release Left

Elbow Release Right

One of the best ways to counter the post double team is by attacking it before the trap can be set. When the defense double teams by bringing a sefender across along the baseline on the low side, the post has option countering by  releasing up to the elbow.

Short Corner Left

Short Corner Right

COUNTER: Pressure Release to Short Corner

When the defense double teams by bringing a player down from the top, the post has option of releasing to short corner on baseline.

 

 


5 Stars

Back Cut Counters vs Overplays

The Reverse Action's spacing makes it ideal for back cutting against defensive overplays and pass denials. Anytime a player is overplayed, they should back cut to the basket immediately.

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CAUTION: Anytime a player is overplayed, they should back cut to the basket immediately. Do NOT fight defensive pressure.

Wing Back Cut

When defender X4 overplays or denies the pass to the wing, O4 should make a hard back cut to the basket.

Back Door Cut

Back Door Cut: If defender X1 overplays or denies the reversal pass out to O1, O4 flashes to the free throw line as O1 back cuts. O5 passes to O4, who in turn, feeds O1 on the back door cut to the basket.

Lob Pass: If/when defender X4 tries to deny O4's flash cut, O4 back cuts to the basket for a lob pass from wing O5.

Skip Pass

When defender X1 overplays or denies the reversal pass out to O1, O5 has option of making a skip pass across to the opposite wing O4. O1 then executes a guard around cut with wing O4.

Corner "Give & Go" Cut

Corner Give & Go: Anytime the reversal pass out to the point is overplayed or O5's defender plays on the high side, O5 can pass to the corner O2 and execute a Give & Cut to the basket.

Corner Pass Reads & Counters

When the ball is passed to the guard and the Give & Go cut is not available, the wing continues out opposite and the post steps out initiating screen & roll action.

Drive Option

READ: Defender CHASES OVER the screen.

When the defensive player chases over X5's screen, O2 turns the corner and drives hard to the basket for lay-up.

Drive and Kick Option

READ: Weakside defenders SAG OFF and help out on drive.

When any of the weakside defenders sag off and help out against dribble penetration, ballhandler O2 makes a kick out pass to the open shooter. If X1 is denying a reversal pass out to O1, Wing O3 has option of setting a screen to free up O1.


Pull Up Jumper Option

READ: Defender GOES UNDER the screen.

When the defensive player goes behind X5's screen, O2 pulls up for an open jump shot.

Drive Opposite Option

READ: Defender CHEATS OVER the screen early.

If/when defender X2 anticipates O5's screen and cheats over early, O2 drives hard, opposite to the basket. If any of the weakside defenders should sag off to help, O2 can make a kick out pass to the open shooter.


Roll Option

READ: Defenders SWITCH on the screen.

When the defense switches on the screen, O2 looks to feed O5 rolling to basket against smaller defender X2. If O2 cannot feed O5 on basket roll, O5 posts up the smaller defender looking for a feed from any one of the outside players.

Slip Option

READ: Defense tries to "Show & Recovers" against the screen.

When the defense tries to Show & Recover or anticipates switching on the screen, O5 can slip the screen and cuts away to the basket early. O2 looks to feed O5 on basket cut.

 


5 Stars

Crunch Time Specials

The Reverse Action offensive alignment affords coaches numerous after a time out and/or end of period quick hitting weakside options. Here are a couple of examples:

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Weakside Screen & Roll

On the guard around, reverse action cut to the basket, O5 sets a down screen for O2. O2 comes tight off O5's down screen looking for feed from O3.

Read: Defense switches on down screen.

When the defense Switches or Shows & Recover against the down screen, O3 looks to feed O5 rolling to the basket.

Double Screen

On the guard around, reverse action cut to the basket, O5 and O4 set a double screen for shooter O2.

Back Screen Lob

Back Screen Lob

On the guard around action, post O5 flashes into the middle calling for the ball. Corner O2 cuts towards the basket but reverses direction and sets a back screen for O4. O4 starts the reverse action cut but then breaks off of O2's back screen for lob pass from either O1 or O3.

 

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