This is another Thibodeau-ism. (For those of you who didn’t read last week’s “Tip”, I referenced Tom Thibodeau, long-time NBA assistant, now with the Houston Rockets, with whom I worked for four years when we were both assistants at Harvard University.) When we’d play, and a pass that was deflected then deflected off my hand and went out of bounds, he’d always say “never catch a deflected pass”. I never debated this with him but would think, “Isn’t that like nearly impossible to decide?” I suspect that what T was saying was – if you have a choice or have a chance – don’t try to catch a deflected pass because the very fact that it is deflected means that its path or trajectory has been altered, that it may not be what it seems to be, and may cause a second deflection, this one off of you.
Archive for August, 2005
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on August 30, 2005
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on August 23, 2005
When Tom Thibodeau, who is now an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics (their “defensive guru”, no less) and who has been in ‘The League’ for sixteen years, was an assistant with me at Harvard and we used to play pick-up ball at the old IAB (now the Malkin Athletic Center) at lunchtime, he would occasionally say something interesting or something that stuck in my head for a long time. One of those sayings was “the great ones use the glass”. This was, of course, usually uttered after he banked one in. Yes, it was funny, but it was also worth thinking about and learning from. There is something sweet (and useful) about watching the ball glance and change direction into the hoop. Another thing to understand is the backboard is your friend. If your touch is feeling a little suspect, get yourself on that angle that is probably 30-35 degrees off the baseline (coaches who say 45 degrees need to dust off their protractors), the line that puts the “block” directly between you and “the box” on the backboard, and bank it in. After you knock it home, backpedal down the court, follow through hand still up in the air and declare (with NBA-like authority) “the great ones use the glass”.
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on August 16, 2005
As a ballhandler, or someone dribbling the ball, one of the things you should watch for is the same thing you watch for everywhere on offense: defense out of position. Beyond that, when you have the ball, you can easily entice defense to get out of position by exposing the ball in such a way that defense wants to reach for it. As soon as the defense reaches, you go. Reaching, by definition, is putting yourself off balance. But you’ve got to practice quick hands to be ready to make sure you don’t lose it and you’ve got to have the mentality that you are going-by. This is also called: “you reach, I teach”. As in: “you reach for the ball and I’ll teach you a lesson or I’ll teach you to not do that again.”