Coach Carvalho’s Basketball Offensive System

ebookcoverBy Walter Carvalho

The objective of my offensive systems is to maximize our shooting percentage per possession.  I believe that the best offensive system is the one in which my players are in position to score and to make their best move to the basket taking advantage of their individual abilities over the defense.  I call this position “the strength position.” 

I try to prepare my team for any type of defense.  I am an advocate of  the running game. Shooting the first available shot that is in our player’s “strength position.”  I don’t believe that a team should hold the ball and give them the opportunity to set up their system. 

I like a fast-paced transition game coupled with aggressive defense. I train my team to run as soon as we gain possession of the ball.  In practice sessions, I like to instill in my players the confidence in their ability to run and score off-the-break.  It is not my  goal to pass a scoring opportunity in exchange for an extra pass. I do not want to give the the defense the chance to regroup and regain numeric advantage.

During my coaching career in 5 different continents, I have observed that shooting off-the break decreased our turnover ratio per possession and it increased out total shot attempts per game.

When in off-season, it is my responsibility to find and develop a system that produces scoring situations for my players in their areas of strength.  It is my responsibility to develop and train a system that finds them a shot.  This shot can be a two pointer, a three pointer and/or a drive to the basket. 

The situations created within the system are according to the individual ability of my players.  I believe that scoring situations should be created as a continuation of the fast break, early offense and or continuous motion plays.  I have learned that the toughest teams to be pressed are the teams who quickly get the ball inbound and are constantly running, moving, creating space, and driving to the basket. In summary, the teams that do not resort to a half-court game are difficult to be defended because they are less predictable.

There are times when I am not able to run, particularly during dead ball situations.  That is when I practice our jump ball, baseline, sideline, and last second and set plays.  I call these situations “special situations.”  My main goal in these situations is to free one of our players for a first pass.  After that, I look to run a two or a three-man game utilizing screens on and off the ball exploring the abilities of my players in isolation.

When planning my game strategies, especially at the offensive end, I try to isolate my players on ball side and on the weak side of the floor.  It is really important for all players to have knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses when moving the ball looking for a high percentage shot.  Shot selection is really important and it is directly related to my players’ understanding of their abilities.  Both on transition and during special situations, I train my players to, first, look to drive to the basket to be fouled and or score.  My goal is to capitalize on every possession.

Placement of personnel in my set offense is important.  I try to position my players facing the basket attempting to spread the floor.  I like to place our strong forward (#4) and our post (#5) players outside the lane, at the short corner position, no more than one bounce away from the basket, half-way between the three-point line and the key line, in a position where they can explore their outside shot and their ability to make a power move to the basket using the baseline and/or middle of the lane.

Bringing my strong forward and post players out of the lane, forces the opponent’s big man to play defense in an are where they are not as effective and where they will be away from the defensive boards. My perimeter players are positioned outside the three point line where they can have room to maneuver, set screens, look for outside shots and drive to the basket.  

My offensive philosophy is to take more shots than my opponents utilizing a scheme that offers my players the opportunity to take advantage of their individual skills, take shots in their areas of strength and be unpredictable. Couple with our aggressive defensive, I believe that this is a good game philosophy for success. It has proven to be true during my coaching career and the various national championships  my teams have won in Asia and in the Middle East.

Coach Walter Carvalho is currently the Director of players and coaches development at the Birmingham Basketball Academy located in Birmingham, Alabama. The eBook Basketball offense Development was published in 2015 and can be bought in Kindle, ePub and Nook at, and at or by clicking on the links below: and


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