2013 EuroBasket Preview: France Offense
The 2013 EuroBasket tournament tips off Wednesday, featuring 24 teams from Europe competing for six spots in the 2014 Basketball World Cup. The past week featured some friendly games between some of the participants, giving us a look at some of the offensive tendencies of the teams. Follow along with the tournament on ESPN3.
France will run primarily a motion offense during EuroBasket, relying on constant movement, good screens and cuts to find openings in the defense. France will rely on its guards, mainly Nando de Colo and Tony Parker, to create offense off dribble penetration.
France will set the occasional ball screen, usually at the top of the key. However, the guards of France have the tendency to reject this screen and drive the opposite way. The guards try to attack the gaps so if they see one in the defense, they can go the opposite way of the screen.
In the above frame, you can see how Ricky Rubio is starting to align himself to defend the ball screen. France attempts to penetrate the defense to get into the lane where they can attack the basket or find the open player as the defense collapses. The open area is now the opposite way of the screen, so the guard attacks that gap and is able to find his teammate for an open jump shot.
While France will show some tendencies of a dribble drive offense, the offense does not seem to be fully integrated into their system. There are times when the offense is aligned in a 5-out alignment but they often have a big man in the post, which would take away driving gaps. The offense sets more screens than a regular dribble drive offense and the guards attack through penetration due to space created because of these screens.
France is going to rely on their guards to attack the defense through dribble penetration and get layups at the rim or find their open teammates for dump off or kick out passes. They don’t have a great post player so most of their offense will have to come through dribble penetration. To be successful, their guards will need to successfully attack the defense and the rest of the French players will need to consistently knock down mid range and three point jump shots.
France will definitely be in contention for one of the six World Cup berths but they will need their guards to be able to find the space in the defense and penetrate the paint through the dribble. They will need them to make the right decisions as to when to continue to the rim and when to find their open teammates. If they can, they should have no trouble advancing through the tournament.