The Blocker/Mover motion offense was my favorite offense that I ran while I was playing basketball, and still one of my favorite offenses to watch now that I am a coach. From what I can trace, the Blocker/Mover offensive system was created by Dick Bennett at Wisconsin Green Bay and taken to Washington State. He passed the offense down to his son Tony Bennett who was the coach at Washington State and is currently the coach at The University of Virginia. The offense requires players who will understand their role on the team, and buy into that role. This offense is extremely hard to guard because of the constant screening actions of the blocker and movers. This is a motion offense where the movers and blocker should be moving around a majority of the time. This creates the defense to become tired and make a mistake because of having to fight through screen after screen, that is not a predictable continuous offense.
How it is run:
The Blocker/Mover motion offense is run with two “blockers” and three “movers”. The primary role of the blockers is to screen for movers on their side of the floor. Off of this screening action the blockers should be reading what the movers do and then do the opposite.
For example, if a mover back cuts off of a blockers screen then the blocker pops back to the ball looking for a shot, quick reversal, or pressure relief. Another example of this is if a mover pops, then a blocker would slip to the basket, look to screen someone else on his side of the floor, or post up.
Depending on the skill set of the players, the blockers can set a multitude of screens for the movers (on ball screens, down screens, flare screens, etc). If there is no mover to screen in the blockers area, then the blocker can look to post up, or pops out for a pressure relief.
Note the blockers need to be some of your most intelligent players, not just the “posts”. The blockers need to understand the concepts of spacing, pressure relief, and they need to be great screeners. Another key component of being a blocker is that this player must be mature enough to handle the fact that he will not be touching the ball as much. The movers do the majority of the ball handling. The blockers primarily score off of setting a good screen and then a defender over helps and the blocker is wide open. Other ways that the blockers primarily score are on slips to the basket, finding a gap in the seam on a movers dribble drive, pick and roll action, pick and pop action (if that is their strength) and posting up (if that is their strength).
Another thing the blockers need to understand is how to space themselves when a mover is driving to the basket. This is just another spacing thing that the blockers need to execute while they are on the floor. While the movers may score more points, and get a lot of the offensive glory from the press, the blockers are what make this offense go.
There are three movers in the blocker mover motion offense. These movers are allowed to go anywhere on the court. One of the only rules for the movers is that they have to make sure they are reading the defense, and the other movers and blockers on the floor.
When starting to teach this offense, the movers are just not allowed to cross paths, or screen for each other. If the players evolve their understanding of the offense and they are ready for that then you can implement mover screening for mover as well.
Movers are the players that are going off of the screens of the blockers. If the player does not receive a pass off of a screen then the mover needs to find another screen from a blocker, or make a cut to the basket. Standing around is not an option in this offense!
Once again I have to emphasize….movers need to be able to read how a defense is playing them! If the opposing team is fighting through every screen, then the movers simply curl every time. If the opposing team is cheating through every down screen then the movers have to realize this and fade off of screens. There are tons of examples of these but the key thing is that the movers have to be able to read how the defense is playing them.
The movers are usually the primary scorers on the floor (although it does not always happen). It helps if your movers are good shooters because usually average defenders get lost after the fourth or fifth screen they are running through. Movers should also be able to handle the ball, make entry passes or reversal passes, and have the ability to drive a seam.
Entries into Blocker Mover
Side, side is a variation of the blocker mover offense that is run with the blockers on each side of the court. This is a three out two in look of the blocker mover offense. Each blocker has one side of the court where he operates, looks to set screens, post up, etc.
Top Bottom is a variation of the blocker mover offense that is more of a four out one in look. One blocker operates on the top of the key and has both sides of the floor to set screens and operate (above the free throw line). While the other blocker looks to set screens around one block and post up if he gets the opportunity.
Confuse the defense by having unpredictable screens, cuts, and drives to the basket.
Define clear roles for your players offensively with the role of blocker or mover.
Have your players better understand reading how their opponent is playing.
Making the defense work through multiple screens, cuts, and offensive action that is hard to guard and likely make them tired throughout the course off a game.
Difficult to implement in a short amount of time.
May be confusing for players who do not understand spacing, screening, or ball movement.
May be difficult to run if you do not have good screeners.
Overall, the blocker mover motion offense is my favorite motion offense that I have seen because it gives players clear offensive roles, while also allowing players the freedoms that come with a motion offense. I have clearly not covered everything regarding the blocker mover motion offense (nor do I know everything about the blocker mover motion offense) but I firmly believe in this offensive system as a way to get quality shots for your players.
Bio: Coach Graneto is currently an Assistant Varsity Boy's Basketball Coach at Sprague High School. Coach Graneto also helped found the Junior Oly Basketball Clinic Series which helps youth basketball players in the Salem area increase their basketball skills and potential. With his 'Chalktalk' contributions, you will find Coach Graneto emphasizing the team parts of basketball including collective responsibility, collective identity, accountability, intensity, and communication.