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Archive for October, 2006

“Running the Point on the Break: Part Five, How to Finish”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on October 30, 2006

camp-photo-oct-06.JPG(This is the last in a series on the three-on-two fast break.)

We’ve brought the ball up court, we’ve stayed spread-out; we’ve even delivered the ball to the wing. How do we finish the play? Well, the best possible scenario is that the point would have influenced the bottom defender off the middle of the lane by faking one way and going to you. If that is the case, you as the receiver may have a chance for a strong-finish type lay-up…similar to what you would get on a three-on-one break. (Which is why we often run the “10 Player Break Drill” rather than the conventional 11 player break. We are so innovative here!) The key to the finish is catching the ball on the run, but under control, and approaching the hoop at nearly a forty-five degree angle – the angle that would take you between the block and the first marker toward the hoop. This allows you to 1) use the glass and 2) to use your body to protect the ball from trailing defenders.

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“Running the Point: Part Four, The Wing Catches the Ball”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on October 23, 2006

After the point has drawn the defense and dished the ball to the wing, what does the wing do with the ball? Remember: this is a 3 on 2 break. It is critical (critical in a basketball sense) that the wing catch the ball under control. That is: be able to stop with good balance so that if you need to change your mind, you are still able to make the play the way you want to. Typically, you’ll know if the shot is yours even before you catch the ball. It is important, therefore, to have your hands and feet ready to go up with it or by the defender if the defender has over committed to the pass. (Is this brilliant or what?) If the shot is not yours, the other two players on offense need to stay spread out, i.e., away from each other. The wing influences the lone defender trying to deal with the next pass by looking one way and passing the other. Look at the foul line player and thread the pass through for the lay-up. Look toward the hoop and dish to the foul line. Like taking a candy from a baby and with the same result: the defenseless will be crying all the way home. (Sorry baby.)

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“Running the Point: Part Three”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on October 16, 2006

a-halasz-running-the-break.JPGThe last thing we knew, we had caught the outlet, the wings had run wide and the ball handler (you) was pushing it up the middle of the court, assessing if you had “numbers”. If you do have numbers, and the defense is backing off, keep advancing at the defender until the defense makes a move at you. As soon as there is any momentum by the point defender, you dish to the wing. Don’t get jammed by the defender and don’t let her deflect your pass. After you pass, keep your piece of the offense spaced by stopping at the top of the key, ready to get a return pass from the wing. If, when you dribbled up court, the defender attacked you early, you’d pass right away to the wing. That way a 3-on-2 becomes a 2-on-1. Another strategy, or response to an attacking defender, is to go by him with a dribble move; leave him in the dust That would make a 3-on-2 into a 3-on-1. You can practice this last move (going by the defender) with a chair (a slow chair) or a really little, basically immobile kid.

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“Running the Point: Part Two”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on October 9, 2006

So, you’ve caught the outlet pass and haven’t been called for travelling or an offensive foul as soon as you turned to go up-court. That’s good. Meanwhile, your coach or the coach inside your head is screaming “push it!” Where do you push to? Unless you are on a team that has a set “break offense” with some sideline schemata, take the ball up the middle of the court; that’s where defense is likely to be and that’s what you want: to be defended. First thing you do is calculate, enumerate, count: how many of us, how many of them. If there are more of you then them, you’ve got what hoopsters refer to as “numbers” and then you do “push” because the “numbers” don’t last long. Offensive players stay wide on the wings, point guard dribbles up the middle keeping the dribble until she sees defense making a move toward her. Don’t wait until you are jammed to get rid of it, pass when the defense begins to make a move at you, some momentum coming at you. (But is the defense faking? Sometimes life just seems so complicated…)

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“Running the Point on the Break: Part One”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on October 2, 2006

Part One: Last week we got the rebound and got the outlet out in a hurry. (See the ball in the air.) Where does it go and to whom does it go? It makes a lot of sense to get it in the hands of your best ball handler: your point guard. Many coaches make a big deal of the outlet receiver coming to the rebounder to get the outlet, thereby reducing the angle in which the defender could step in and steal the ball. (Bird steps in and steals Lambeers’s pass to Isiah who should have been stepping in himself.) Also, if the point is streaking up court while catching the outlet, there is the chance of a defender establishing position and as soon as the point catches and turns, he sees the defense and either travels or charges. On the other hand, it’s nice to get a head start on the break by already being on the move. Is it too much to ask for the rebounder/outlet to recognize what lies ahead of the point and to not outlet to a point who is poised to encounter defense as soon as she turns? Is it too much to ask for the point to recognize when there is open space ahead as the rebound is being secured? In other words, come to the ball when there is traffic and release when there isn’t. Still, teams and players should drill with the point guard coming to the ball, you know? It’s the thing that seems a little less natural, so it’s the thing you have to practice to make it seem more so. Oh yeah, catch the outlet on the sideline; that way, you’ll be out of the flow of traffic before you zoom up-court.

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