Blocker Mover Offense Guide

Posted by Coach Chris on Oct 05, 2018

Blocker Mover Offense

The Blocker Mover Offense made its way to basketball courts when Dick Bennett developed and started using it for his offensive game plan with his teams at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and again at Washington State University.

Fast forward to present time, Dick’s son, Tony Bennett, head men’s basketball coach at the University of Virginia, has used it for the base of his offense as well; and it has led his team to a successful style of play. Because of the success at Virginia, the Blocker Mover Offense has received a lot of attention.

What is the Blocker Mover Offense? It’s a motion offense that consists of players filling specific roles that involves extensive screening and cutting with players reading the defense and making moves accordingly. Essentially, Blockers are primarily screeners and Movers are cutters who are using Blockers to find weak spots in the defense.

In this article, we’re going to take a deeper dive in the roles of Blockers, Movers, and how they work together to create high percentage opportunities on the offensive end. By the time you finish this article you’ll know the strengths and weaknesses to implementing this offense and tools to learn more if you believe this is the perfect fit for your team.

Strengths of the Blocker Mover Offense

  • Offense Runs through Best Scorer. The whole point of the Blocker Mover Offense is to get the ball into the hands of your best scorers which means you’ll most likely be putting points on the scoreboard every offensive trip.
  • Defined Roles. Most players want to know what their role is on the team and with this offense it makes it extremely easy to define for each individual. Overall, you’ll be putting each player in a position to be successful with a clearly defined role.
  • Difficult to Scout. The Blocker Mover is a motion offense full of cutting and screening. Your team will be nonstop reading the defense and using counters and other options to exploit the defense thus making it unpredictable and hard to scout for your opponent.
  • Team Offense. With two main roles, it is imperative for everyone to work together. Movers have to be cutting and using screens to get open and knock down shots. Meanwhile, the Blockers have to be unselfish and set screens to get the Movers open. If your team doesn’t work well together, you may choose a different plan for your offensive attack.

Weaknesses of the Blocker Mover Offense

  • Hard to Learn. This offense can be hard to understand at first because it relies on reading and reacting to the defense. It may take time to learn and understand what to do without Coach telling them exactly what to do.
  • Buying into System. In order to be successful with this offense, your team has to buy into their roles and working together. Movers and Blockers have to be unselfish and work together to get the best scoring opportunities for the team.
  • Primary Scorers. If your team doesn’t have one or two players (Movers) who can be go-to scorer then you may choose to run a different offense because without Movers this offense will not work.

Who should use the Blocker Mover Offense?

The Blocker Mover Offense is based off the understanding not all players are the same. Some players are natural scorers while others may excel better at setting screens to get the scorers open. In the Blocker Mover Offense, that is exactly the type of team you need to be successful.

If your team is made up of two groups - scores and screeners - then the Blocker Mover Offense may be the winning game plan. In order to be victorious, you need a group of players who can read the defense, use screens, and score. Your other group is made up of players who can read the defense, set those screens, and find holes for scoring opportunities to keep the defense on their toes.

To put it simply: get the ball into the hands of your best shooters and scorers by setting screens and make sure they get open each offense possession. If your team can find a way to make these two groups coexist by working together then the sky's the limit with this offense.


Blocker Mover Offense Concepts

Coach Dick Bennett has three main concepts to remember when you are running the Blocker Mover Offense:

  1. The Attack Plan. In order to attack a defense, you need to have a side-top-side Mentality. The primary time a defense breaks down is when you reverse the ball because it keeps the defense off balance. With this in mind, look to pass the ball look to constantly pass and reverse the ball from one side of the court to the other. By doing this, you’ll be breaking down the defense for a high scoring opportunity.

  2. Timing of Ball Movement. It’s important to understand what sort of timing to have with your movements depending on where the ball is on the court. Specifically, be deliberate when the ball is on the top and quick when the ball is on the side.

    • Ball on the top? Be deliberate and take a second to let screens be set and see if there are any open cutters or post-up opportunities. This also gives the defense time to clear out without helpside which should open up even more options for your offense.

    • Ball on the side? A quicker decision is needed to either put it on the floor to attack the rim, pass into the post, or pull up for an open shot. The longer you hold the ball allows the defense to get in position. Be ready to make a quick decision before the defense has a chance to shift and get into position.

  3. Personnel Determinations. Get to know your players strengths and tendencies in order to figure out who are you Blockers and who are your Movers. Some players think to score first (Movers) and others think to help first (Blockers). Once you know what position each player falls into you can set their roles and help them better understand their responsibilities in executing a winning game plan.


Blocker Mover Offense Positions and Roles

There are two distinctive positions within the Blocker Mover Offense - your Movers and your Blockers. Both positions have clearly defined roles on what they will be doing on the offensive end and it’s essential for both Blockers and Movers to have solid understanding of what each is looking for and how to work together to create a winning possession on offense.

Movers

Movers are the players who create the action. They are your primary scorers and ball handlers who can come off screens, make plays off the dribble, and can distribute the ball.

You want your Movers to be hard to guard which means they play all over the court and are constantly look for a Blocker to use as a tool to get open and make a play.

Essentially, they are setting up their defender by using a Blocker to get open for the ball. With the ball in their hands, they look to either score or find an open teammate for a score.

Blockers

Blockers are the primary screeners on your team. Your blockers are constantly setting good, solid screens for Movers so they can get open and create offense for the team.  

Your Blockers have to be intelligent players who have a feel for the game whether they’re inside or outside. They have an unselfish understanding they’re going to be getting others open first most of the time. Overall, your Blockers are going to make or break your offense because they have to be unselfish teammates.

Unlike Movers, Blockers are restricted to certain areas of the floor for screening depending on what Blocker Mover set your team is using.The only time they may work outside this area is when the pop out for a pass to relieve pressure or help reversing the ball to the other side of the court.

Blockers get their offense from their own screens. Even though, Blockers main focus is to set screens they can still score the ball by positing up, slipping screens, and putting back an offensive rebound.

Blocker Mover Offense Basic Sets

The Blocker Mover Offense can be used with any sort of team - big or small, inside or outside. There are four different sets you can use in the Blocker Mover Offense depending on your personnel.

4 Basic Sets of the Blocker Mover Offense

Lane-Lane Set

In this set, you take your 2 Blockers and put one on each side of the lane. Each Blocker owns their side of the lane and they stay on their side of the lane (no crossing or switching sides). The 3 Movers spread the floor and they can move anywhere they want.

The main actions for your Blockers are setting screens up and down the lane line or pinning, sealing, and positing up their defender.

The main actions for your Movers are spreading the floor, using the screens, and looking to get open for a shot or pass to an open Blocker in the post.

Wide-Wide Set

In this set, your Blockers are still given a side of the floor but they have more mobility and are not limited to the lane area. Instead they have one side of the floor and can set screens anywhere on their side of the floor.

With an entire side of the floor, your Blockers have many more screening angles. After setting screens in this set, Blockers are more active in getting open themselves which makes them more involved in the scoring than the Lane-Lane set. The 3 Movers spread the floor and they can move anywhere they want.

The main actions for your Blockers are setting screens and setting more screens or opening up to the ball if they’re open.

The main actions for your Movers are using the screens and looking to get open for a shot or pass to an open Blocker for a shot.

Lane-Wide Set

This set simply combines Lane-Lane and Wide-Wide to create a Lane-Wide set. In this set, the screening possibilities are endless and any screening angle you’re trying to get is possible.

One one side of the court you have your Blocker in the lane (Lane Blocker) following the Lane-Lane concepts and on the other side of the court your Blocker is wide (Wide Blocker) following the Wide-Wide concepts. The 3 Movers spread the floor and they can move anywhere they want.

The main actions for your Blockers vary depending on if they’re a Lane Blocker or a Wide Blocker. Your Lane Blockers setting screens up and down the lane line or pinning, sealing, and positing up their defender. Your Wide Blockers are setting screens and setting more screens or opening up to the ball if they’re open.

The main actions for your Movers are are using the screens, setting screens for other Movers, and looking to get open for a shot or pass to an open Blocker for a shot.

Top-Bottom Set

In this set, the Blockers have the freedom to change sides of the floor.

You have a Blocker who is on the bottom (Bottom Blocker) and blocks both sides below the free throw line. The other Blocker is on the top (Top Blocker) and they block the area of the floor extending at the wings all the way across the top. The 3 Movers spread the floor and they can move anywhere they want.

The main actions for your Blockers vary depending on if they’re a Bottom Blocker or a Top Blocker. Your Bottom Blockers are moving on both sides below the free throw line and setting screens up and down the lane line or pinning, sealing, and positing up their defender. Your Top Blockers are moving around the top part of the court and setting screens and setting more screens or opening up to the ball if they’re open.

The main actions for your Movers are are using the screens, setting screens for other Movers, and looking to get open for a shot or pass to an open Blocker for a shot.

Blocker Mover Offense Plays

Lets take a look at some Blocker Mover sets Virigina has used in their offense!

Virginia - Flare

Things to Note

  • Movers: 1, 2, and 3
  • Blockers: 4 and 5
  • Initite Set-Up: Lane-Lane Set

Starting Points

  • 1 starts with ball on left side
  • 2 starts on opposite low block
  • 3 starts on right wing lane line extended
  • 4 starts on left lane low block
  • 5 starts on right lane at the elbow

Actions for Flare

Frame 1

  • 2 cuts off of a down screen from 4 to the wing
  • 1 passes the ball to 2
  • As this pass happens, 3 cuts off a back screen from 5 to the opposite low block

Frame 2

  • 2 then dribble towards 1
  • As 2 dribbles 1 cuts off a flare screen from 5 for a pass
  • As this happens, 3 cuts off a down screen for 4

Scoring Options

  • 2 coming off the down screen from 4 for open shot on the wing
  • 3 coming off back screen from 5 for open short jumper or lay-up
  • 1 coming off flare screen for 5 for open shot on the wing
  • 3 coming off down screen from 4 for open shot on the wing
  • 4 and 5 could be open by slipping screens, posting up, or pinning/sealing their defenders

Virginia - Turnout

Things to Note

  • Movers: 1, 2, and 3
  • Blockers: 4 Top Blocker and 5 Bottom Blocker
  • Initite Set-Up: Top-Bottom Set

Starting Points

  • 1 starts with ball at the top
  • 2 starts on right wing
  • 3 starts on left corner
  • 4 starts on top left elbow
  • 5 starts on right lane low block

Actions for Turnout

Frame 1

  • 1 passes the ball to 2 on the wing
  • After passing, 1 comes off a back screen from 4
  • 3 cuts off a screen from 5 to ball side corner

Frame 2

  • If corner is not open 3 curls off the screen from 5 for a pass
  • After screening for 1, 4 turns around to rescreen by setting a down screen for 1

Scoring Options

  • 3 coming off screen from 5 for a shot in the corner
  • 1 coming off down screen from 4 for a shorter jumper or lay-up
  • 3 curling off screen from 5 for a shoter jumper or attacking the lane
  • 1 coming off the rescreen from 4 for open shot at the top
  • 4 and 5 could be open by slipping screens, posting up, or pinning/sealing their defenders

Virignia - Curl Post

Things to Note

  • Movers: 1, 2, and 3
  • Blockers: 4 and 5
  • Initite Set-Up: Lane-Lane Set

Starting Points

  • 1 starts with ball on left side
  • 2 starts on opposite low block
  • 3 starts on right wing lane line extended
  • 4 starts on left lane low block
  • 5 starts on right lane at the elbow

Actions for Curl Post

Frame 1

  • 1 dribbles towards 2 who comes to ball for a handoff
  • 2 then passes the ball to 3 on opposite side

Frame 2

  • 1 cuts behind 4 and curls around 5 into the lane
  • After 1 cuts behind, 4 pops to the top of the key
  • 3 looks at 5 for a post-up and 1 in the lane

Frame 3

  • If neither is open, 3 passes to 4 who swings the ball back to 2
  • If 1 doesn't get the ball, they pop out to the right corner

Frame 4

  • 4 follows their pass to set a ball screen
  • As the ball screen happens, 5 sets a flare screen for 3 to the short corner
  • 2 comes off the screen with options to score
  • After screening, 4 rolls to the basket

Scoring Options

  • 1 coming off curl screen from 5 for a short jumper or lay-up
  • 5 posting up on the low block
  • 2 coming off ball screen from 4 for an open lane to attack or open shot
  • 4 rolling after setting ball screen
  • 3 coming off a flare screen from 5 for open shot in the short corner

Teaching the Blocker Mover Offense

Typically, when you're teaching a new offense you break it down into sections but with the Blocker Mover Offense Bennett stresses working on the offense as a whole. With his team, he always worked on the offense with 5 players going against defense. The reasoning is your team needs to learn how Blockers and Movers work together while both are reading the defense. The best way to do that is to go 5-on-5 and approach the offense as whole.

For specific actions within the offense such as screening and cutting, you can treat those as fundamentals and use drills specific to those actions.

Drill Suggestions

  • Blockers should focus on screening, slipping screens, posting up defenders, and pinning/sealing defenders.
  • Movers should focus on coming off screens for a shot or using their dribble, reading screens for flaring, curling, or slipping.

Learn More

The Blocker Mover Offense has the potential to be unstoppable for your team against any defense. If you’re players buy into the system with an unselfish attitude and willing to work together executing cutting and screening then you have found the right fit.

We have given you the foundation to implement this into your game plan, but there’s always more to learn. A great tool for any coach is learning directly from the coach who developed the Blocker Mover Offense, Coach Dick Bennett. His short, instructional DVD, The Blocker Mover Offense, thoroughly breaks down everything you need to know to execute this offense.

Check out this clip from Coach Dick Bennett's The Blocker Mover Offense.

Another one of our favorite Blocker Mover Offense videos is with Tom Jicha. He gives you two options when it comes to his Blocker Mover DVDs. The first option is his DVD, The Mover Blocker Offense, which covers the basic introduction to the offense. Whereas his second option, Set Plays and Drills for Mover Blocker Offense, goes into more detail of plays to run with this offense and drills to use in practice to get better with this offense. Jicha basically offers the complete package for the Blocker Mover Offense!

Check out this clip from Coach Tom Jicha's Set Plays and Drills for Mover Blocker Offense.

 

If you want to learn even more about the Blocker Mover Offense, check out HoopsKing.com for DVDs you can download or rent.