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“Never Catch a Deflected Pass”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on August 30, 2005

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.


2 Responses to ““Never Catch a Deflected Pass””

  1. ryan said

    First, I just found this site today and I love it.

    Second, I just wanted to point out that another consequence of a tipped pass is that the ball will usually go out of bounds if you let it, and your team will get it right back. It’s easier to reset the play than to risk dropping a deflected pass.


  2. Ryan – – Glad you found it. Insightful comments, questions, thoughts are needed and welcome.

    And, yes, you’re right,and good to point it out: if it’s heading out of bounds, best to let it go. But, it all falls under the category of “thinking ahead”, a crucial (and able to be developed) skill in hoops.


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