Never Too Late Basketball's Tips & Tales

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“The Great Ones Use the Glass”

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”.

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