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What to expect from Chris Fleming's offense?

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Chris Fleming is in Germany this week, trying to get his German national team into next year's Eurobasket, the FIBA Europe tournament. He's now 2-0 in the qualifying tournament after a last-minute win over Austria Saturday.  His team, once a powerhouse, is playing without Dirk Nowitzki, who retired from international play, and Dennis Schroeder, who took this summer off to focus his new assignment as Atlanta's starting point guard.

Once that's done, in a couple of weeks, he'll return to Brooklyn to work with Kenny Atkinson, his college teammate, on the Nets offense.  The Nets No. 2 assistant, after Jacque Vaughn, Fleming is expected to be the Nets offensive guru.

So what can we expect? Atkinson has said that his roster will dictate his strategy, but looking at Fleming's past indicates the Nets will run a wide open, point guard-dominant offense, but one that will test the physical endurance of the players.

A year ago, Denver Stiffs, the SBNation blog covering the Nuggets, unearthed an 85 minute coaching speech Fleming did for FIBA back in 2011, laying out his offensive philosophy.

The speech was aimed at young European coaches, While a lot of it is elementary,  here's how Denver Stiffs described its basic tenet... "If you want your guys to pass, and moving quickly out of the pick and roll, then define exactly what their looks are. That way they don't need a long time to decide what to do and the ball moves. It's a very passing-based offense."

Denver Stiffs also derived a number of principles from the speech

1) Make the ball see you (move and present a target or you won't get the ball).

2) Fill 4 perimeter spots at all times (there will be times where guys are involved in dribble penetration, etc). Once you pass the ball as a perimeter guy and you have to go back outside. Corner, foul-line extended, high elbow gives you six possible places for those four guys to be - and only those spots..

3) Post-guy rules: if You're on the ball side, post above the block. Opposite the ball, then go behind the defense, as far down as possible to get the best spacing.

3a) The bigs step to the short corner inside the three, if there's dribble penetration in order to increase the spacing and the holes in the defense. If there's a baseline drive, the big has to use the free-throw line-extended as his goal. If there are guys who are not good from that spot there are things that can be done to make that work anyway.

4) Passing is crucial. Guys struggle feeding the post, but bigs HAVE to get the ball if they're open inside, and passers need to be taught HOW to get the ball in. Bounce-pass the post if you can, to get angles. In fact, for every pass available, define the type of pass you want used, otherwise you'll get passes you don't want.

4a) Talks about working footwork for the big receiving the pass, because his big man had trouble scoring it on the block because he wasn't ready to turn to the basket as the ball was received. The footwork helped clear that up. Also, the big man movement without the ball is basically the same in zone or man-to-man, so that the bigs always know what they're supposed to do. Removing confusion is the point.

5) On a baseline drive, the opposite corner 3 spot MUST be filled. Even if there's a teammate nearby on the baseline. Besides being a shorter shot, another reason the corner 3 is the highest percentage 3 is because it's the easiest pass. Let's guys catch and shoot in rhythm, and gives the guard the easiest pass to see.

6) When moving between spots, RUN, don't slide. This is in the drills being discussed, but also a focus for the games. Don't get lazy about re-positioning. Gotta maximize your little advantage you've gained with ball movement and penetrations.

6a) talks about the middle drive from the corner 3 spot as the best drive, because you can see the whole floor and all your passing options (Best court vision). There's nothing behind you.

7) Transition game: Wing guys run the outside lanes to the corners. That's ALL they have responsibility for (again, part of keeping it simple in the fast break). The guard who advances the ball has to be outside the high elbow on one side, otherwise it's really hard to screen for him and get the best matchups. If the first big trailer is out ahead of the ball he will rim-run and ask for the ball. If that happens and we cannot get him the ball, then we will drag-screen with the remaining trailing big. Set the screen in the scoring area, and it should be an L-cut. Quality of the screen trumps the speed of it.

8) Pick n Roll rules: He is (in his own words) NOT a huge fan of slipping screens (and the crowd goes wild!), but wants you to jump into them and sprint out of them. They have to be SET, though. Speed in and speed out. Higher ball screens can have less contact time, and lower screens need to be held longer. One dribble pick and rolls from the guard. Drop the pocket pass to the rolling big QUICKLY if it's there.

What will that look like from high up in Barclays Center or on YES?

Seems like a lot is going on with the offense, but it's pretty basic. With his desire to stretch the floor and have four guys out on the perimeter --  this should drag defenders out of the paint and open things up for Jeremy Lin to drive and/or work a pick and roll game with Brook Lopez.

The major point of emphasis is setting guys up. In the past couple of seasons -- especially with Joe Johnson being a focal point -- there was a whole lot of standing around and isolating. Some coaches call players like that a "black hole" because it stops the flow of the offense. If the ball does get passed back out, there isn't much chance for success because nobody else is moving off the ball in effort to get open and make the defenders work.

This doesn't seem to be the case with Fleming's offense. IF Lin can penetrate, the defense will have to make a choice: 1) Slide in the paint and leave the perimeter guys wide open. (Wonder why they signed so many shooters?) or 2) Trust the defender to cover Lin in a one-on-one situation. This sets things up wonderfully for the shooters AND big men down low that can do damage on the interior.

Along with constant movement on and off the ball, another point of emphasis is how fast all of this can happen. Unless a player i's going to take the shot, the ball shouldn't be in one player's hand for more than four or five seconds.

Both the ball and players should be constantly moving. If you watch Bojan Bogdanovic in Europe, one of the main reasons for his success was positioning. He knows where to be and when to be there. It isn't about "being at the right place at the right time." Rather it's knowing where to be and presenting a target for the passer to recognize that you're open and that you WANT the ball. Again, no standing around watching with your hands down. This all correlates with the transition game they'll try to run.

This all sounds refreshing especially when you compare it to the slow offense in the past. But there are issues. Guys can get gassed real quick. It'll be tough to sustain 48 minutes of this if your guys are tired. The Nets don't exactly have studs coming off the bench ready to fill the shoes of guys like Lopez and Lin when they step off for a breather.

It should get the most out of these guys, but their endurance will be heavily tested in a system like this.. Good almost all of them are in camp.