From last night's WNBA game between the Washington Mystics and the Chicago Sky. For most of the game, both teams played tough M2M defense, deny 1 pass away, good help side and recover. It forced both teams to shoot a poor percentage, particularly from beyond the 3-point line.

As the game wound down to the final 2 minutes, both teams switched their defenses (which I do favor tactically), the Mystics went to a 2-3 zone and the Sky to a packline M2M. Both teams offense reacted accordingly and made their first 3-pointers, take a look,

Penetrate and Kick vs Zone Defense:

The Sky did a good job out of the Timeout to move the ball side-to-side then penetrate the zone and find the open 3-pointer in the corner,

Inside to Outside vs Zone/Pack Defense:

Against the matchup zone that the Sky were using, the Mystics got the ball inside into their post, waited for the defense to collapse, then found the wide open shooter on the wing (with the shot clock winding down no less),


I like the idea of switching defenses at the end of games to get the other team out of their offensive execution. But I think the zone is an invitation for the other team to shoot open shots. If you change defenses, I think the general philosophy would be to take a risk, either a trap, or a double, or a switch of matchups, the zone gives up the open shot.

For more tips on zone offense, take a look at Mike Krzyzewski's DVD on Attacking the Zone. For more great basketball discussions, be sure to check out the X's and O's of Basketball forum.