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Archive for November, 2006

“The Thinking Behind the Backdoor Cut”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 17, 2006

It’s sort of joke, isn’t it, to be writing just a paragraph on the backdoor cut, the move that dominated the Ivy League (and frustrated all ilk of opposing teams) for decades and, eventually, changed (and revived) the NBA? It also feels presumptuous of me to be writing this. Pete Carril (I’m sure he had predecessors, and he certainly spurred a legion of followers) is the expert, the Moses with the holy tablet on this one. But, I have no idea how Pete and Bill Carmody (Northwestern) and Joe what’s-his-name taught and teach this at Princeton; I have no idea what they say, so here, at least, is a fresh perspective.

(Okay, two paragraphs.) The idea behind TBC is: the more the defense extends away from the basket, the more room you have behind them (between them and the hoop) to cut, catch and score. When introducing TBC at our clinics, we tell players that when someone denies you the ball out away from your hoop, that you should stop, turn and shake his hand, saying “thank you, I’m about to score two points on you”. Basketball’s a game of deception, right? I mean at its core. So, what we do is set-up the backdoor, create a situation that looks like you REALLY want the ball passed to you moving away from the hoop, or, additionally, moving out AND toward the ball (my preference as a set-up). You want it bad so, naturally, the defense, your opponent, wants to deny you that which you most desire (nice guys, huh?). Get the defense running, stop and pivot and change direction on a dime for the bounce pass and score. See how many times they deny you then. They’ll give up on that idea. At which point you start practicing your three-point shooting.

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Posted in without the ball | Leave a Comment »

“What Exactly Does an Extra Pass Look Like?”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 15, 2006

Passing and making the extra pass (and, if you think about it, shooting) is often a function of knowing what you will do with the ball even before you catch it. This, of course, requires good vision, both in the physical and in the mystical sense. If you believe that offensive basketball means finding the best shot for your team, you will be searching for that even before you catch, even before you get on the floor. This requires knowing what the weak side looks like, it requires that you be aware of your screener when you come off the screen, and it requires making the extra pass in a two-on-one, rather than turning it into a one-on-one. It’s simple: can you make a pass to someone who is more open than you and in scoring position? And, are you ready to do that? Head up, see the floor, ready to pass before you catch.

Posted in general improvement, passing | Leave a Comment »

“Make the Extra Pass”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 13, 2006

Passing is more important than shooting. An oversimplification? Yes. But a good group of passers who aren’t great shooters will still fare well because with good passing, they would eventually find a good shot, or a shot that even a not-so-good shooter would make. On the other hand, a good group of shooters who are not good passers won’t get good shots. Eventually that team will break down, alienate one another to the point that the game will degenerate into one big argument amongst team members and eventually someone, probably the guy who brought the ball, will say, “I’m goin’ home”. Basketball is movement, player movement and ball movement. The idea is to move and in moving, manipulate and tire the defense. When readying yourself to shoot – and even before – you should have in your mind and in your eye: is there someone somewhere on my team, who is more open the I am? “Nice pass” (along with “good hustle” and “good d”) are the sweetest words one can hear on the basketball court.

Posted in passing, team offense | 2 Comments »

“Defensive Communication”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 7, 2006

When playing defense, it is important to communicate with your teammates. Talk. Say something, well, something helpful, not things like “does anyone have any Windex on them? These glass backboards are filthy!” Most often, communicate to the person who is guarding the basketball. Say, “Help left” if you are on the left side of your teammate guarding the ball. Say, “Help right” if you are the right side of your teammate and intending to stop them ball handler if he/she goes by the defender. This will aid your teammate who is guarding the ball in determining how to overplay the ball handler. It is dangerous (in a fun/game kind-of-way) and inadvisable to play a good ball handler straight-up. Dictate to the ball handler. Also, communicate the impending approach of a screen (and screener); “Screen left. Get over it. Get over it.” The get over it, get over it part is an example of repetition for emphasis. Shouting things loudly like “DON’T LET THEM SCORE!” is another recommended form of emphasis.

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