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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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