The flex offense in basketball has been around for about 30 years. This type of offense relies on a lot of passing, screens, backdoor cuts, and ball-reversals. Basketball coaching flex is most effective against man-to-man [tag]defense[/tag] because it uses so many screens. These screens create mismatches that give the offense a decided advantage over the defense.
Probably the biggest thing players have to do while playing a [tag]flex offense[/tag] is to move without the ball. This means the players should be running around the court trying to get open and trying to get teammates open while another player has the ball. This movement has to be coordinated too. Offensive players in the flex have to be aware of what their teammates are doing.
One of the biggest parts of [tag]basketball coaching flex[/tag] is teaching players to [tag]screen[/tag] defenders for each other. A screen is when an offensive player blocks a defender on the other team. The offensive player whose defender is being screened should scrape by the screener so that the screen works.
When the screen is effective the defender who was covering the player who laid the screen has to switch and cover the player for whom the screen was set. This could create mismatches – a slow defender covering a fast player or a small defender covering a big player. Major mismatches should be exploited by the offense before the defense has time to switch back and cover the players they’re meant to cover.
If the defense is unable to switch or fails to switch because of a defensive breakdown, an offensive player will be left wide open. Often the open player will cut for the basketball hoop and get an easy lay-up or a dunk.
Another way to get an easy lay-up is to perform a [tag]backdoor cut[/tag]. This can even be done without a screen. The offensive player simply runs along the baseline and then fakes like he’s going to run back toward half-court. That player will quickly stop and cut back to the goal. The pass to that player needs to be right away and on the mark. If it is, the offense will have itself an easy backdoor basket.
Those are just a couple examples of how basketball coaching flex can be very effective.
A defense has to concentrate all the time when playing against a flex offense. One letdown on the defensive end and can result in an easy basket for the offense. In fact, a defense may play very solid defense for 35 seconds and then suddenly give-up an easy basket on a backdoor cut. This can be physically and emotionally exhausting for the defense. That’s why some teams will elect to abandon the man-to-man defense and will decide to play zone against the flex. Screens, misdirections, and backdoor cuts are not anywhere near as effective against a zone.
The whole point of [tag]basketball[/tag] coaching flex is to have an offense that is patient and hard working. In many ways the flex offense can be a great equalizer – it can keep a less talented team in the game. In fact, the flex offense can often help a less talented team win a basketball game.