Deliberation of the best basketball offensive strategies for your team to use starts early in the pre-season. Flex offense? Continuity? Passing Play? What is the best strategy to use?
What will work best will change every year, as your personnel changes – some plays will suit strengths that other plays won't, and you'll have to decide for yourself which play will work for the team you have that season.
But it isn’t only about the set offense you run – that is only one offensive situation you will find yourself in during the game. You want your team prepared for a multitude of situations, and while you can't prepare for every possible game situation, you can prepare for the most common situations you will find your team in.
Be sure you coach your team on basketball offenses that are designed to handle these three general types of situations:
I like the fast break, and my teams almost always are breaking teams (partly because we are rarely blessed with any size, so we need to compensate by being quick).
But I realize it isn't for everyone. Some teams will be quick and the fast break will come naturally; others may be bigger and slower and not so naturally inclined to play the running game.
But every team should know how to fast break - even if it isn't the main offensive strategy the team uses, there will be times in every game where the team can take advantage of the defense's slow transition and push the ball up-court ahead of the defense to gain a 3 on 2 advantage or better. If your team understands how the fast break is run, they'll at least have the option. And if you have a smaller team, the fast break may be the ticket to you controlling the game against larger opponents.
This is where the decision to run a flex, or continuity, or some other offense comes in. The majority of your offensive game is likely to be spent in a set offense, but don’t go overboard with these plays. Have 2 or 3 offensive plays to use in the game - one that works well against man-to-man defense; one that works well against a zone; and perhaps a third that you can use every now and again to mix things up a bit. I wouldn't try to use more than three - you don't want to confuse your players. And if they can run two or three offenses well, that should be all they need to open up scoring opportunities.
This is a catch-all category, dealing with any situation that isn't the "normal" part of the game. For example, the jump ball. Most leagues have gotten away from jump balls every quarter and at every held ball, but you still jump at the beginning of the game, and if you are ready for it with a simple strategy, you can control the game from the beginning and maybe even be able to score in the first few seconds of the game.
You would like to have a simple strategy as well for last minute shots. Hopefully you won't be in too many games where you are down by a point with five seconds left to play, but on those few occasions where you are, it would help to have an offensive strategy prepared.
Two other strategies definitely need to be prepared for special situations: press breaks and inbounds passes. These two situations - attacking a defensive press against you, and passing the ball inbounds - happen frequently in most games and therefore you should definitely be prepared with a strategy or two.
Is that all? Maybe not - there are others you could add, but keep in mind that the more you add, the more your players need to remember, and in the heat of the game, that might be difficult. Always try to keep it simple.