Attack the Rim with the Dribble Drive Motion Offense - PART 1

Attack the Rim with the Dribble Drive Motion Offense - PART 1

Dribble Drive Motion Offense

The dribble drive motion offense is a guard-oriented offense that focuses on spreading the floor and attacking the rim with a dribble. The key to this offense is being tough to guard by attacking the defense so you make multiple defenders have to stop you. By doing this, it should open up passing lanes and create holes in the defense for you to work together and score.

Many coaches have adopted this offense as the best option for their team because it fits their personnel. The motion offense is a 4-out-1-in offense based on an attack mentality. If you’re team excels at dribble penetration, finding shooters, and knocking down open shots then this offense is a perfect fit. It doesn’t require a dominant post player to make the offense successful but rather excellent spacing, timing, ball movement, and decisions by your players.

In order to properly cover the motion offense, we’re going to do a two-part series. In this article, Part 1, we’re going to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of this offense, what type of team would be successful running this offense along with the basics of getting the offense set-up and started. We’ll follow this article up with Part 2 which will give you many different drills to use for implementation of the offense so you’re team can get better.

Strengths of the Dribble Drive Motion Offense

  • Strong fundamentals - If your team can execute the basic fundamentals - especially dribble penetration and shooting - at a high level with the right timing and spacing then you will easily find scoring opportunities with this offense.
  • Teams can’t prepare for this type of offense - The Dribble Drive Offense can be difficult to figure out for defenses because it’s a true read-and-react offense which makes it hard to scout and defend.
  • Team effort - For this offense to be executed successfully, your team has to work together to find a way to score. Penetration, ball movement, spacing, timing - all of these things have to be done as a unit. With this type of game plan, it’s not one player that beats you, but an entire team effort on the offensive end.
  • Fouls and Free throws - Aggressively attacking the rim puts the defense on its heels. If you’re getting to the rim, you’ve put the defense in a position to either let you score or foul you. Both are great scenarios for you because you’re either getting two points or two free throws.

Weaknesses of the Dribble Drive Motion Offense

  • Attack Mentality - For this offense to be successful, you must have players that are aggressive and looking to score at all times. If you don’t have those skills then this isn’t the offense for your team.
  • Lack of Movement - If you have a player that’s trying to attack too much without moving the ball then your team may get stagnant and start watching the ball more than moving to get open.

Who Might Use The Dribble Drive Motion Offense?

The Dribble Drive Motion offense is built for teams that are smart, quick team that can handle the ball, shoot the outside shot, and consists of good decision makers. Guards in the motion offense must be able to attack the rim to score, see open passing lanes, and find open shooters who are able to knock down the open shot.

Motion offense is guard-oriented so the post player doesn’t have to post-up, but they do move from the opposite block, elbow, and short corner to keep the lane open for dribble penetration. Instead of posting up in a traditional sense, post players look for lob or dump pass opportunities when their defender goes to help on a penetrating guard. If they don’t get a pass then they’re crashing the offensive boards hard to get a put-back or another possession for their team.

A team successful with the motion offense must be able to read the defense and make offense moves accordingly. If each player can understand what they’re looking for out of their offense and are good decision makers then there’s going to be an open scoring opportunity every trip to the offensive end.

Dribble Drive Motion Offense Notes

The entire offense is based around the concept of attacking the rim or kicking out to an open shooter. To get the motion offense going, you need to get your players in the right position on the court, know the basics for motion, and teach them different entries into the offense.

Player Positions

The motion offense is a 4-out-1-in alignment with four players around the perimeter and a player in the post. The four players on the perimeter don’t necessarily have to be guard, but they do need to be players that like to attack the defense. Below is the initial set-up for the motion offense, but after the offense starts it becomes irrelevant because players are constantly moving.

Player 1: Top position on right side of the court

   This player is the main catalyst of the offense - they’re going to be the player to get it all started.

Player 2: Wing on ball side of the court (same side as Player 1)

Player 3: Wing on opposite side of the court

Player 4: Top position on left side of the court usually a step behind Player 1

Player 5: On the block opposite ball

Installing the Dribble Drive Motion Offense

Motion Offense is pretty simple in terms of the basic concept - you’re attacking the lane to get to the rim forcing another defender come and help stop you.

1 attacks the lane to score - defender helps - 1 passes to 2

2 has an open shot or defense recovers in time

2 attacks the lane to score - defender helps - 2 passes to 4

As you can see, the same offensive actions are continuously repeated. When you get stopped, you’re finding an open teammate for a shot or to attack as well. From there, you keep reading the ball and reacting to what puts your team in a position to score.

Dribble Drive Motion Offense Entry

There are many different ways to get into the motion offense. All of them will depend on what the defense is doing to guard you. Here are a few basic entry options:

Motion X

  • 1 dribbles to the middle of the free throw line
  • 4 euro cuts behind for a pass from 1
  • 4 then attacks the rim to score
  • 1 gets out of the lane and fills in behind 4 staying opposite ball
  • 2 and 3 look for open passing lanes for 4 to kick out for shot
  • 5 stays opposite ball for a lob or dump pass from 4


  • 1 drives and passes to 2 then continues to cut
  • Players fill open spots: 4 fills 1 spot; 3 fills 4 spot; 1 cuts out to 3 spot in opposite corner
  • Players swing the ball: 2 swings to 4; 4 swings to 3; 3 swings to 1 in the corner
  • 1 makes a entry to the 5 in the post
  • 5 now has three options: score, pass to cutter, or kick to shooter


  • 1 dribbles to the wing and pushes 2 through to opposite corner
  • Players fill open spots: 4 fills 1 spot; 3 fills 4 spot; 2 fills opposite corner
  • Players swing the ball: 1 swings to 4; 4 swings to 3; 3 swings to 2 in corner
  • 2 now has three options: open shot, attack the rim, pass entry to the post
  • If no shot, 2 passes to 5 for more options: score, pass to cutter, or kick to shooters

Learn More

If you want to learn more about developing the Motion Offense and different entries to get the offense started be sure to check out Herb Welling's The Dribble Motion Offense DVD. It goes into incredible detail of the motion offense along with excellent demonstrations of every scoring option out of the each set.

Dribble Motion Offense Herb Welling

Once your team has learned the basics of the motion offense take it a step further with  Jim Blaine’s Winning with the Dribble Motion DVD. This DVD is a great resource that touches on transition, post play, and how to use the motion offense against different defenses.

Dribble Drive Offense High School

Looking for drills to use in practice for your team to better implement the motion offense? Check out  Part 2 of the Dribble Drive Motion Series.

How Do You Teach Dribble Drive Offense?

First your team must develop the attacking mentallity of the Dribble Drive. Next you must know the positions which are:

  • Player 1: Top right of the key
  • Player 2: Wing on ball side
  • Player 3: Opposite wing
  • Player 4: Top left of the key
  • Player 5: Block - Opposite of the ball

After you know the positions you can start walking through the circle motion of the Dribble Drive. To watch this movement check out The Dribble Drive Offense Motion Breakdown.

What are the Advantages to Dribble Drive Offense?

The Dribble Drive Offense is hard to prepare for and guard. Due to it's aggressive attacking nature you're more likley to draw fould to put your team at the free throw line. Other advantages include:

  • Strong fundamentals
  • Team effort
  • Hard to defend

Check out some of the best coaches teach their unstopabble Dribble Drive Offense on DVD.

How do you Defend Dribble Drive Offense?

To defend the Dribble Drive Offense you must always be in on-ball position, deny, and help positioning. In the dribble drive there's lots of cutting, filling, and attacking so you must be aware of the ball and defender at all times. Other keys to defending dribble drive:

  • No ticky-tack fouls on drives
  • Stay low in triple-threat positioning
  • Move your feet on drives, forceing the driver out of the middle
  • Deny cuts or any back door passes

Learn more about how to defend & execute the Dribble Drive Offense here.