It’s early in the season. Three-Quarters of your foundation: Pass EW, Pass NS, and Dribble EW are pretty solid.

However, as much repetition time as you’ve given it, Layer 4 Dribble NS, is still not quite there during LIVE action.

What do you do – stay on this Layer until it’s perfect, or go on to your screening actions?

The short answer is: Go on with the screening actions that follow Layer 4, but continue to drill Layer 4 in every practice. The reason this is possible lies with your understanding of the R&R SPOTS: If any basketball action ENDS with each offensive player on a SPOT, then a new action can begin wherever the ball is located.

So, if the ball drives NS and either no one without the ball moves or only 1 or 2 move, then a new action in the R&R can still begin (assuming no shot is taken and no turnover has occurred). If all of the players are on a SPOT, the ball can choose another action and we can continue our offensive attack.

Now, I don’t want you to think that I’m saying, “Give up on Layer 4.” The situation I described above is far from optimum in terms of creating the best situation. But the offense can go on nonetheless. In fact, your team might become experts at Pin & Skip or Screening with the Post while still being a novice at Layer 4.

While you are working towards mastery and the consistency of Layer 4 and while you are adding some screening actions, there are some minimum Layer 4 reactions that you should requiring at this stage (even though you’re moving on):

Natural Pitch: If I could only hold one player accountable to Circle Move, it would be the Natural Pitch. It’s too powerful to not demand of your players! It occurs to many times to not be on the top of this list.

Safety Valve would be my next highest priority. Having teammates consistently in the Safety Valve position cuts down on a lot of turnovers. It bails a lot of players out of trouble and many times puts a player in position to be back on defense!

When the ball drives into the lane above a Player in the Post, the very least that player can do is step TOWARD the short corner. He or she might not make it to the Short Corner yet (his or her reaction might still be too slow), but at least they should be making the effort. If there’s NO effort – NO reaction to get out of the way and be in a position to receive a pass, I’d probably sub for them at this stage of the game.

Baseline Drive: There are 4 windows to fill. At this stage in the season, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the opposite corner (the Natural Pitch on a Baseline Drive) to be filled about 80-90% of the time. The other windows will come with more practice, but the opposite corner is a powerful scoring threat and tends to stretch the defense more than any other window.

This is just one of the many nuances of Positionless Basketball the Read & React Offense! And the ability to navigate these pliable aspects of the system is a sign of a true master of Read & React. It’s the reason that you’re the exception and your traditional friends are still scratching their heads and looking for the next magic “play”!