Today I am going go over the Sixers Motion Offense. In basic terms, Sixers motion gets the Small Forward, Point or Shooting Guard (basically either of the 2 who didn’t bring the ball up) an open look in the corner by running him baseline in hopes of outrunning or losing his defender in the traffic.
The offense also takes advantage of teams with a good shooting or low post big and it’s at its best when the team has both. The rare player who possesses both skills (Cousins, Davis, and Love) gives you a lot more flexibility on what type of big you pair with them.
TO SET UP THE OFFENSE
You can begin the offense from either wing spot or at the top of the key at the 3 point line.
And the structure will always have a guy in the corner, a big on the low block, another big at the top of the free throw line and the other guard or forward on the opposite wing of the ball
handler (which makes this very hard to zone against because of the overload to 1 side of the
TO START THE OFFENSE
Now the offense only starts when the big at the top of the free throw line receives the ball. He’s the quarterback of the offense and is responsible for delivering accurate passes to the shooters.
The main actions once the big receives the ball are:
- The guy in the corner running to the opposite baseline looks for an open three
2. The initial ball handler setting a down screen for the big who can pop out all the way
out to the 3pt line. So if your big can only shoot mid-range, you want to pass it to him
quicker than waiting for him to run all the way out. Also having guys like Melo or Kevin
Durant at the 4 spot, while running this action gives the opposing big an impossible task.
IF THE DEFENSE CLOSES OUT ON THE SHOOTERS
If you’re looking to pass to the guy running baseline and he can’t lose his defender, wait
for him to gather himself and move to the wing before passing it to him. Now your
teammates will adjust to the ball handlers’ position and set up the offense again. You
have now restarted the play and have 3 options to go with the ball due to your location.
1. A pass down low to a big man and once he catches it the 2 wings will space out
giving him room to operate
2. I like to pass to the corner and manually call for a sideline pick n roll or pick n pop
with the big man
3. Passing it to the big at the Top of the circle to start the offense again only with a
different player running baseline the other way now.
If you’re looking to pass to the big receiving the down screen and the defense closes out
on him, he also has 3 possible scenarios. Only his options are more dependent on what
the AI does.
1. Because the guy who sets the screen for the big is at most a Small forward he
sometimes flairs out to the corner if the big doesn’t shoot. If that happens I Pass it to
him and run another sideline pick and roll
2. A series of screens can occur. The guy who screened for the big will throw another
screen to open a teammate for a corner three and if the defender also covers that, a
3rd screen will develop to free a guy at the top of the 3 point line.
3. If the 2nd and 3rd screens don’t trigger pass to the big at the top of the free throw
circle and back to the wing to setup the offense again then right back to the big to
A twist I like to add is a manual pick and roll or fade with the big, instead of passing him the ball to start the offense. It keeps your opponent on their toes as to whether to try and intercept the initial pass by backing up or be alert as to not get screens by the big that’s behind him. Also takes advantage of guys who play off ball defense to try and intercept the sideline passes because he thinks the ball handler isn’t a threat.
Additionally, if you notice the weaker of your shooters is expected to receive the baseline catch and shoot, you just move to the other side and winger at the top of the key will now be the guy receiving the screen. It’s the same for the big men, moving side to side changes who receives the down screen and who parks at the free throw line to initiate the offense.
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