there was recently a nice discussion about using different matchup zones, however I am wondering how you like to ATTACK a matchup zone.  Do you run your zone offense?  Do you run your man offense? 


We faced a 2-3 matchup zone during our last tournament that completely dominated us.  I'm just looking for some more input.  Most coaches I have talked to have said to just run your regular man offense.  I'd love to hear more opinions

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Hey thats good stuff Mitch.  I think a 5 out would also be good because they would have to have their five guys be out as well.  Almost make them play it with man to man principles.  I think whatever you do decide to do, you have to try to persuade the defense into running its man to man principles, and thus utilizing mismatches, and your man to man offensive type of stuff.

Ball reversal will cause match up challenges in the post.  Many rotations will bring the big out and the mismatch occurs in the low post area. 

Make sure you use a short corner for entry passes and dive cuts from perimeters.  The angles on quick ball reversal creates basket cuts by perimeter players for lay ups.

 In the 1980's, Bill Green wrote a book on the Match Up zone and alot of coaches began using it with some success. I was in a league in Texas where every coach was using the match up zone and after talking to Del Harris who was an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets he suggested using a 1-4 set and a free lance set as well as a man offensive set. I began using the 1-4 set with some success against the match up. I also had success using a motion game. Del later taught the Match Up to several highly ranked division teams. 

Read and React offense will work great.....but you would need to be running this offense all year....we see match twice a year and got great looks running our read react offense

We've had success using a dribble weave/handoff offense that combines the "on-ball" screen either near the wing or top of the key with a post.  Getting one on ones with mismatches has been a key.



  I like that idea.  Seems very good.  Thanks for the advice and input!

Hi all,


I work with a 1-2-2 set, with two players on the low post, with his heels on the baseline. The situation of the pivots helps to make largest court. One of the weaknesses of this defenses are the defensive rebound, it is the other reason to play with a two post players, to play hard the offensive rebound.


As the set I apply, the attack concepts:

-          One on one for the perimeter players to pass the ball.

-          Perimeter players cut on the corner for over load.

-          Post players diagonal cut between the elbow and the middle post, for over load.

-          Move the defense with:  pass the ball at the post, or reverse the ball.

-          Now I’m included the screens when the post make a diagonal cut on the wings.


I think there are many good ideas to play, but the more important for me is the timing in one on one, the passes and the shoot fakes to pass the ball or play one on one and the spacing and cuts for other players when a post player takes the ball.


How many times did you see a perimeter players playing the one on one after reverse the ball at time defender are on the pint or the high post? Or how many times the post player is playing one on one and the other post player don’t move behind the defense, or the perimeter players don’t correct their position?

Speaking the timing fakes and one on one I use a parallelism with a chess play. When we play, we need to attract pieces for attack the king. Our king is the basket.


We face zone the majority of the time. It is key to remember ball reversal and pass fakes to get defenders out of position and slow to the ball. Remember that man defenses guard their man while zone defenses guard the ball. So it is key that you consistently move the ball and attack the gaps in the zone with dribble penatration.


Kevin is correct, bring a short corner by the point running a Bruin cut off a high post screen, a post up

on low post and you've given the defense adjustments to make. Then a ball reversal to opposite elbow

with a fllex base cut to opposite short corner and a low post seal.  Run out of a 3 out 2 in set up.

Kevin Schmidt said:

Ball reversal will cause match up challenges in the post.  Many rotations will bring the big out and the mismatch occurs in the low post area. 

Make sure you use a short corner for entry passes and dive cuts from perimeters.  The angles on quick ball reversal creates basket cuts by perimeter players for lay ups.

 i have used a match up for years and I can suggest 2 things:

1. Use a 1-4 set. Unless the coach really knows his/her stuff, they will either miss match or be forced to a man. If the ball goes to a wing and the point cuts to either corner, interesting things happen to the zone. I roll the strong side elbow down, pop the other elbow out, reverse the ball and look to high/low.

2. Use a 1-3-1 set. Pass to the wing, this gets everyone matched up.  Step the high post out (my shooter). Keep the low post opposite the ball or stepped to the short corner. this removes the help from the floor and allows the wing to penetrate and dish or, if the shooter is not played, reverse the ball through the shooter to the opposite wing.

I know this reply is late and probably will go unread. But I have read some of the responses to how to attack a 23 match up zone and I tend to disagree.

I run a 23 match up zone on defense and I actually run most of the offenses that are described. If those offenses worked against a 23 match, then the 23 match probably wasn't ran correctly or didn't have the right personnel to make it work correctly. If it is ran correctly, Short corner offense (which I also run) and a 5 out offense (which I also run) are both ineffective against a 23 match. Trying to run a man to man offense will most likely be ineffective. The whole purpose of the 23 match is for a team to not be able to run a regular man offense. Most coaches aren't prepared or have an offense to counteract it.

In order to be successful against a defense like a 23 match, you have to run quick hitters and a zone or trap offense depending on how its ran. And your best luck in defeating it (if a team runs it well) is to have quick ball reversal from the wing to the top of the key to the other wing or skip passes. With that being said, you will still need quick ball movement, players that can shoot really well, or have a guard that can penetrate and dish quickly.

23 match is a defense like the 1-3-1 or -1-2-2 or even the diamond 1/2 court trap where you CANNOT run a man to man offense. The whole point of running those types of defense are to disrupt the other team from running a man offense or face coaches who are unprepared against that type of defense. It would be extremely difficult to beat the defense by going short corner. That's one of the places we are forcing you! It is difficult to beat the defense by going to the corners or the post also. Those are perfect opportunities to trap out of (if you trap out your 23 match)

I hope this helps for anyone who is looking for advice of how to beat it from a coach who actually runs the defense.

I'd run man offense especially a 5 out open with lots of L cuts and  some zone principle offense incorporating hi lo and behind the zone short corner stuff. 

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