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Dan D'Antoni's Offensive System


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Dan D'Antoni's Offensive System



Dan D'Antoni's Offensive System

Fly all over the floor and rack up points quickly by using a free-flowing approach on offense!

  • Design a free-flowing offense that athletes love to play in due to its fast-paced, high-scoring tendencies
  • Utilize player development as part of your offense to develop a highly-skilled team
  • Incorporate set plays and other actions into your free-flowing offense when fast breaks aren't available


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with Dan D'Antoni,
Marshall University Head Coach;
2018 Conference USA Tournament champions;
2019 CIT Champions;
led Marshall to the school's first NCAA Tournament (2018) since 1987;
former Assistant Coach (for brother Mike D'Antoni) with the Phoenix Suns, NY Knicks, and the Los Angeles Lakers;
played for the Thundering Herd (point guard);
was inducted into the Marshall University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990

"Organized chaos" is how Dan D'Antoni describes his philosophical approach to basketball. In this video, Coach D'Antoni presents an up-tempo style of play he helped develop with his brother, former NBA head coach Mike D'Antoni. This free-flowing, fast-paced style will have your team scoring like crazy all night.

Free Flowing Offense

In free-flowing basketball, the key is to have players react to what the defense does. The system is predicated more on what the players do and less on what the coaches do. Players are given the freedom to play within the concepts built into the offense. Secondly, the pivot area is left open in transition. This allows for greater spacing on the perimeter and the opportunity for dribble drives. With both corners and the weak-side wing filled, the trailer and the point guard are able to operate to create opportunities for lay-ups, aggressive penetration, or open 3-point shots.

The main action of the offense is the drag pick & roll. As the trailer sets the ball screen for the point guard and rolls to the basket, the ball-side wing will raise, creating several options in the three-man game. On the weak-side, the remaining two players spot up or look for opportunities to cut to the basket. All of this is designed to get the first good shot. By each player and possession, this will change as some will have more abilities than others. Practice is the proving ground for working on shooting the ball quickly and getting into the habit of shooting without hesitation.

Player Development

One of the keys to being successful in playing in a free-flowing offense is to develop the ball skills of players. Practice begins with drills designed to develop hand speed using the ball. Basic ball-handling is critical and is a major part of the warm-up at the start of practice. It later extends into other facets that include being able to finish at the rim or hit a step-back 3-point shot.

Post play is also a major component of free-flowing offense, despite the open pivot that Coach D'Antoni wants in transition. Post players work on being able to finish with explosion. Bigs are taught to explode from a down position in their individual work.

Finally, shooting is a critical component of developing free-flowing offense. To work on the pick & roll component of his free-flowing offense, Coach D'Antoni has his players work on shots off of the pick & roll. This incorporates shots for the bigs setting ball screens for guards, and both getting shots off the action. Extra balls are used in the drill to create situations where the play breaks down and quick shots are necessary.

Set Plays and Other Actions

Coach D'Antoni incorporates set plays to strike quickly when the fast break isn't available. The first of these plays is "4 Pop". After a pass to the trailer, the wing opposite the point guard cuts and sets a screen for the corner on the other side. While this happens, the other wing in the corner raises and catches to look for either a post-up or a screen-the-screener action with a stagger double finish.

Another action that is introduced is "Double Drag". This action has the two bigs at the top set a double ball screen for the point guard. The trailer rolls to the basket while the remaining big pops. Unlike the main action in free flow, the wing in the corner will not raise.

Coach D'Antoni's approach to offensive basketball generates one of the fastest and highest-scoring attacks the game h


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