Hey Offense, how do you like your eggs?

…SCRAMBLED, please.



Imagine a set defense is a hard-boiled egg with all pieces intact. This type of defense: 

1) Is in position to Close The Gate (stop ball penetration)

2) Can easily see ball & man,

3) Is less “pickable” (harder to set picks when D sees & hears the pick is coming)

4) Has good spacing, inside position & plays the passing lanes

5) Is ready to help, fill the gaps

6) Has good rebounding position

7) Is in position to beat the flash AND front cutters

8) Is ready to anticipate (vision equates to quickness)

9) Has good closeout angles

An effective offense takes time to probe, crack and eventually scramble the defense before attacking. Patient players/teams will focus on the following actions to help scramble the D:

1) Ball reversal (swing-swing, 2-direct passes)

2) Picks (ball, wing, back, corner)

3) 2-speed cuts (V, L, backdoor, bubble, stop)

4) Post touches (inside/out creates digs & closeouts)

5) Drive after multiple passes create gaps (attack rim, drive and kick or drop off)

6) Hi-low passing

It’s important for the offense to understand game situations as to when a D becomes scrambled. These are optimal times to attack a scrambled defense: 

1) In transition

2) 1/2 court offense: after several passes and/or probes

3) After securing an offensive rebound

4) After securing a loose ball



Over time, I began identifying situations that make an offense “Hard to Guard”. These are instances where defenders are forced to make decisions and often become scrambled in the process:

1) Close The Gate (Cut off dribble penetration)

2) Closeouts

3) Ball Picks

4) Wing Picks

5) Back Picks

6) Pick the picker

7) Defending the Post

8) Fronting cutters (2-speed cutters set up the Defender)

9) Sprinting back in transition



Using the “Hard to Guard” list above, I attempt to reverse engineer an offense that will offer players the opportunity to create within a continuity motion.

The egg analogy offers quick cue words to keep offensive concepts top of mind with players. “Scramble before attacking”, “Get your egg beaters out”, “Who’s hungry for some scrambled eggs?”. Hopefully, you will find it to be an effective teaching tool.