When I created the Read & React, there were some things regarding Dribble Penetration that I wanted:

I wanted the system to encourage an attacking mindset and the skills to go with it.

I wanted an offensive system that would allow a penetrator to attack from anywhere on the floor and at anytime during a possession.

I wanted spacing on the perimeter so that help defense would be stretched.

I wanted the lane to be as open as possible as much of the time as possible.
If anyone was in the lane (post), I wanted them getting out of the way when a teammate dribble penetrates.

I wanted everyone else without the ball to move into the best “pass-receiving-window” that would be possible from wherever they were on the floor.

I wanted the movement of those without the ball to be in the opposite direction of natural help and rotation in order to create difficulty for a recovering or rotating defender.

These are the ingredients that formed Layer 4 DRIBBLE NORTH-SOUTH in the new, updated version of Read & React Positionless Basketball.

The reason I have put so much effort into Layer 4 is the same reason that you must put even more effort into teaching it and DEMANDING it from your team: During my last 11 years of coaching in Atlanta, I would watch our games after the season, usually in the spring of each year. Many times, I would stat everything again, or sometimes simply look for the things that we needed to work on.

The one thing that I never failed to spot every year was how much Dribble Penetration from our opponents would hurt US!

With that being the case, I became convinced that I needed to be much more intentional with HUNTING opportunities and TRAINING players to Dribble Penetrate.

What does this have to do with the theme of “Taking Turns” in the Read & React? Because Layer 4 is not about HUNTING Dribble Penetration or TRAINING players to recognize driving situations. Layer 1C: Real Estate, Draft Drives, and Killing Close-Outs are ways that we can train, teach and encourage players to Dribble Penetrate.

Layer 4 teaches the team what to do when Dribble Penetration FAILS! When a driver engages two or more defenders and CANNOT convert his or her drive into a SCORE, the question becomes: “What’s next?” or “Whose TURN is it?”

It’s now a perimeter player’s turn – someone who has CIRCLE MOVED correctly – into a consistent passing window.

It’s now a post player’s turn to SLIDE out of the way and into our designated passing window.

The ballhandler has done his/her job: recognize disorganized defense, drive the correct space, and in this case, draw one or more defenders. NOW, it’s turn for the players WITHOUT the ball – IF they have reacted correctly!

Why do I want you to Circle Move and Post Slide correctly and consistently? Because if the drive fails, IT’S YOUR TURN!!! (Someone needs to make a poster out of this so that we all can hang it in our locker rooms!)

And how can you “take your turn” if you’re not where you’re supposed to be?

If you ARE where you are supposed to be, then there’s no doubt about our NEXT Action!

TEAMWORK is the responsibility of those WITHOUT the ball in the Read & React System. There is no other action or Layer that demonstrates this core principle as well as Layer 4 DRIBBLE NORTH-SOUTH.