As you probably know, Coach Bob Knight ran motion offense, so he had some flexibility as to where to put his players on offense. I once heard him speak at a clinic about his zone offense.
One of his principles was that in his scouting against a team that played a lot of zone defense, he would decide which of the defenders in their zone defense was the weakest. He then played his best offensive players in the area where they were most likely to be guarded by the opponent’s weakest defender.
I believe that even if you run a set or pattern zone attack, it is helpful to have your best players learn a variety of spots within that system in order to be able to have some versatility as to where you play them and are then able to adjust their spots in a game to take advantage of the weaknesses in the opponent’s zone defense.
Another scenario to think about putting a good offensive player in a specific spot against a zone is if one of the zone defenders is in foul trouble. Even if a team goes to a zone if it gets in foul trouble, you can still create matchups that you want by placing your offensive players where you want them. I think it is important not to get away from what you do best in your offense, but looking to create matchups against a zone is something to think about as you implement whatever you do to attack a zone.
The Coaching Toolbox has hundreds of resources for basketball coaching including basketball practice, basketball plays, basketball drills, basketball quotes, basketball workouts, basketball poems, and more!