The Zone Delay Spread Offense is an offensive set you can utilize at or near the end of game situations when you are trying to use clock and the defense is in a zone. It is not entirely a continuity offense because there isn’t a set pattern to follow but it is effective against a defense that is pressuring you with a halfcourt zone.
I think more often than not, most teams that are behind in this situation will play man-to-man but I have seen some teams stay in their zone. This is a simple offensive concept that can be effective in those instances where a team does stay in zone pressure. You probably won’t need to spend a lot of time on it, but it is good to have in your playbook!
In the Zone Delay Spread Offense, the offensive players occupy the positions as shown in the diagram. The key is to move the ball quickly so that the defense will not be able to trap using their zone pressure.
Players should also understand the importance of pass fakes to get the defense to shift in one direction and then pass in the other. Two-hand overhead passes should also be used when the pass has to cover distance.
The players should also understand that they should move and cut to get open, possibly even replacing each other as necessary. Dribbles can be used but they should only be used to create a better passing angle. Don’t dribble just to dribble.
When the ball is passed to O3 at the high post position, he should quickly look to pass opposite. For example, if O3 receives a pass from O1, he should look to O4 in the opposite corner. He must, however, not make a blind pass to O4 or O5. He should first pivot and read the defense.
If you do attempt to score from this offense, getting the ball to O3 is key. O3 can take his defender 1-on-1 or a corner offensive player (O4, O5) can break backdoor to the basket if they are being overplayed.
When O4 or O5 receive a pass in the corner, they should look to pass up the sideline to O1 or O2. If that is covered, they should look to throw a long diagonal skip pass to the guard on the opposite side of the floor. Depending on age level, they must be capable and strong enough to make this pass.
Again, the ball should move quickly between players but they must keep it under control. The point of the Zone Delay Spread Offense is to use clock until you decide to score or until you are fouled. It is imperative that you don’t let yourself get trapped and that you don’t turn the ball over.