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Archive for the ‘post play’ Category

50 Little (Big) Tips (7th in a 10 Part Series)

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 5, 2015

1. When going left, dribble lefty. When going right, dribble righty. When you don’t know where you are going, don’t dribble at all.

2. You are playing a league game or a game where there’s a ref or somebody who is going to impose rules. It’s your team’s ball, side-out in the front court. Pass the ball to a teammate in the backcourt. (You can throw the ball into the backcourt from anywhere and it is not a backcourt violation. Just don’t touch it till you get both feet in the backcourt!) The pass to the backcourt eliminates the danger of a) catching in the front court near the half court line and stepping on the line and getting a totally demoralizing backcourt violation and b) getting trapped by a defender and the sideline/backcourt corner.

3. The first overnight basketball camp I ever went to was Friendship Farm run by Jack Donahue, the great Lew Alcindor’s (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) high school coach. The camp was heaven on earth; all basketball all-the-time. Great high school players and great high school and college coaches. (Bobby Knight came in on day and nearly killed us with defensive drills.) One day during a break, Warren Isaacs, all-time Iona College great and long-time big-time pro in Italy, pulled me aside to work on my hook shot. At one point, Coach Donahue walked by and muttered, “you’re only as good as your running hook”. Whatever Coach Donahue said, I took as gospel. You should too.

4. When you play a game of one-on-one, vary the rules. Don’t always start at the top of the key, don’t always leave the rules open ended. Some ideas: a) top of the key but one dribble maximum; b) start on one or the other low post areas, back to the basket, and go three dribbles maximum (anything more is grammar school ball); c) start in the corner or the wing; d) play one-on-one full court; e) ball handler starts at 1/2 court with a live dribble, defense starts at the top of the key. What game do you want to play?

5. Unless you are dunking the ball or dropping the ball down into the hoop, use the backboard to finish layups, especially breakaway layups. Angle out on the last step if you are coming down the middle (easy to do) and finish around the rim, not over the rim. Over the rim (meaning straight into the hoop) without using the backboard can result in the ball rolling off the rim and out. So depressing. I cannot tell you home many times I have seen heads hung after the ball rolls off the rim and out on “all alone layups – even in the pros! Take the rim out of the equation. Ball + backboard = 2 points.

Posted in beautiful basketball, defense, fast break, general improvement, notes: college & pro, passing, post play, rebounding, rules, shooting, team offense, without the ball | Leave a Comment »

50 Little (Big) Tips (5th in a 10 Part Series)

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on July 22, 2015

IMG_24331. After feeding the post yell “double”. This is fundamental, as fundamental as the “Mikan Drill”. Why yell double? The player guarding you invariably goes to bother the receiving post player. One of the first (fundamental) things the post player does is turn and look middle. The post player cannot look middle AND see your player who has vacated you to double down. Help out your teammate in the post by yelling “double”!

2. Let the post player get position before you feed the post. Not doing so more often than not results in a deflection (almost as bad as a steal). Posting up means, posting up by definition is, getting the defense on your back so you can manipulate and hold off defense so that the post player can receive the ball cleanly. It’s offense: be patient!

3. Make your left as good as your right, practice lefty (or off-hand) jumpers to better understand form. Of course we don’t mean become an ambidextrous jump shooter; gauche. But there is a reason that all great shooters are, informally, like during games of H-O-R-S-E or just in goofing around, very good off-hand jump shooters. They understand form so well that they can apply it both to their off-hand and to their strong hand. (My record in shooting 18′ jumpers alternating left hand and right hand every shot is 20 in a row. What’s yours? Try it! And then try it again and again; you’ll figure it out and become a better shooter overall.)

4. Shoot for swishes (“Swish Game”). Fred Hodson of Jonesboro, IN, NTL’s famed Shot Surgeon at our Weekend Camps (he slices open, takes apart and slowly stitches back together your shot – no pain killers) says “shrink your target”. In other words, don’t just shoot to get the ball in the hoop; shoot it to get it in a particular part of the hoop. There’s a game, comes by many names that is helpful. The “Swish Game” goes like this (it can be done from anywhere): you take two from the FT line. If you miss, it’s minus one; if you make a perfect swish (no rim at all), you get plus one; if you make but hit the rim, you get zero for that shot. Then your partner (opponent) does the same, takes two. Play to plus six or to any number you want. Making shots will all of a sudden become a by-product of shooting.

5. Aim for the bottom corner of the backboard when feeding a post player who is being fronted. I got this from Tom Thibodeau when we were coaching together at Harvard and we’d play pick up or summer league games. I’d have it on the wing; he’d be posting up. I would situate myself so that Thibs would be between me and the hoop. If he was fronted, he’d keep the defender there and tell me to throw the ball up to the corner of the backboard. This would keep the ball out of the middle of the lane where hep might be coming but also allow him (the post player) to pull it in, get footwork down and score in the lane.

Posted in beautiful basketball, general improvement, notes: college & pro, post play, shooting, without the ball | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

50 Little (Big) Tips (3rd in a 10 part series)

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on March 12, 2015

Week Three

1. Practice like a pro (http://video.sfgate.com/Stephen-Curry-and-the-Art-of-Dribbling-28411894)

2. Practice “toes to the corner” – shoulder pointing in toward the hoop to protect the ball – finishes (or as I used to hear Rick Pitino say, “put ’em in jail!”)

3. Engage in games, competition: H-O-R-S-E, Streak, Knockout, especially One-on-One (competition is good for basketball development)

4. Play “chest up, high hand” defense (heard Bo Ryan, U of Wisconsin head coach, say this recently)

5. Always run wide on the break (I remember watching Karl Malone run so wide on the break when John Stockton was pushing it up that it looked like Malone was out of bounds or going to run on top of the scorers’ table.)

Posted in ballhandling, beautiful basketball, defense, fast break, general improvement, notes: college & pro, post play, shooting | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

50 Little (Big) Tips (2nd in a 10 part series)

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on February 25, 2015

Week Two

First Tip: Layups 12 Different Ways

In games, layups present themselves in a variety of ways; it’s not always the classic “right knee up on a righty layup”, “lefty knee up on a lefty layup”. Here are 12 ways to shoot a layup:

1) right knee up righty layup (the classic);

2) left knee up on a lefty layup (the opposite hand classic);

3) right hand, “wrong foot”

4) left hand, “wrong foot”

5) “Power Layup”; off two feet (right side)

6) “Power Layup”; off two feet (left side)

7) lefty dribble, righty layup

8) righty dribble, lefty layup

9) righty finish left side of hoop (back turned to the middle)

10) lefty finish right side of hoop (back turned to the middle)

11) EuroStep right side

12) EuroStep left side

Second Tip: Alternating Hands Dribble when speed dribbling

When needing to cover a long distance, maybe after a steal or long rebound, and you have no one ahead of you and you want to finish the trip and the play as fast as possible, use the alternating hands dribble technique. Don’t cross the ball over, extend your arm and put the ball down in front of the other hand. 3-4 dribbles and you should be able to cover a full high school (84′) or NBA/NCAA (94′) court.

Third Tip: Sikma Move

Named after NBA legend, Jack Sikma. Also known as “inside pivot”.

Fourth Tip: Use defensive fakes

Especially important when defending a 2-on-1 or 3-on-1 fast break or when helping against penetration on defense and you want to make the dribbler pick up his/her dribble without fully committing to the dribbler.

Fifth Tip: Screening the low side of a defender in a ball screen

Many defensive players, especially in pick-up games or recreational league games react to a ball screen by trying to go under the screen. If so, screen on the low side of that defender so it is even harder for that defender to get under the screen. This will drop the defender so far under that the ball handler who you are screening for will be free for a wide open, undefended shot.

Posted in ballhandling, beautiful basketball, defense, fast break, general improvement, notes: college & pro, passing, post play, shooting, without the ball | Leave a Comment »

Glossary of Terms For Post Play (Part One)

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on January 6, 2015

(excerpted from the outstanding handbook, Practical Post Play, by Pete Gaudet*)

Passing Angle: “Draw a line from the ball (spot A) to the target. Now imagine the easiest spot from which to feed the post successfully (spot B). A line from both spot A and spot B to the target form an angle. When a player moves the ball from spot to spot B, the passing angle has improved.”

Court1J

Bzomowski adds: Passing angles are crucial; improve your passing angle and you cut down on turnovers. You improve it by (in the case of feeding the post) reading where the defense is playing and moving the ball (via dribble, pivot or pass) so that it is fed to the post player as close as possible on a perpendicular angle formed by ball line to post player’s chest.

*Coach Gaudet is former head coach at Army, longtime assistant at Duke University as they went to 7 Final Fours and 2 NCAA Championships, lead instructor at the famed Pete Newell “Big Man Camp”, overseas coach and a member of Never Too Late Basketball’s Weekend Camps’ staff.

Posted in beautiful basketball, general improvement, post play, team offense | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sins of the Recreational Basketball Player (5th in an occasional series)

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on December 7, 2014

It’s a sin, a crying-shame-kind-of-sin, to see a player in a recreational league or pick-up game or even, heaven forbid, in a scrimmage in an NTL Clinic or Weekend Camp, feed a post player the ball and then just stand there as the perimeter player’s defender (the post feeder’s defender) impedes the movement or offensive play of the post player. It is a sin because it is so easy to do something to affect the play in a variety of positive ways. The easy something to do? Move. Move to occupy your defender so that your defender gets off the post player. Whenever you feed the post your defender always ALWAYS turns to look into the post. At that moment, all your defender knows is that you were where you were when you fed the post. Shaving points? Don’t move. Feeling super lazy? Stay right there! Sinning like a recreational player? Yup, don’t move your feet.

Now the question is, the good question is, where do you go? Simply put, anywhere! More helpfully, go one of three places: 1. cut behind your defender’s head (so the defender has to adjust his/her position to concentrate on finding you or 2. move to a spot away from your defender so that they have to cover the most ground to recover to you (often to the corner) or 3. dive to the rim (cut to the hoop). Any and all of these movements get your post player what your post player and you want: one-on-one in the post.

Do one of those three things and your stay in basketball purgatory will be shortened; the basketball gods will begin to forgive you your long list of basketball sins. Amen.

Posted in beautiful basketball, general improvement, post play, team offense, without the ball | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Hakeem Shows Yao Some “Dream” Post Moves

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on June 4, 2007

Came upon this video while checking out the head coaching status of my former Harvard bench mate (1985-89), Tom Thibodeau. (Interviewed recently by the Kings. His time is coming!)

This is a pretty good video because 1) there’s no annoying music attached to it; 2) Hakeem and Yao are taking the session seriously; 3) those post moves of Hakeem’s!!! Good Lord! Or Good Allah, or . . . whatever, they are sweet; 4) the advice Hakeem is giving to a 2nd team all-NBA center is so on-the-money (and related to an earlier “post” here at NTL Tips concerning, among other things, keeping the ball UP). Hakeem seems likeable, perceptive, genuinely engaged, enthusiastic even: a natural teacher.

The video.

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Posted in notes: college & pro, post play | 5 Comments »

The Used-to-Be No-nos that are Now Yes-yesses; Part Three: Dribbling in the Post

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on May 10, 2007

danya-in-the-post2.jpgEarlier we wrote about the “one-handed pass” and “going one-on-one” as occurences in basketball that used to be considered no-nos but are now acceptable, and in many instances, desireable. The third in this series that reflects changes in the game is the idea of “dribbling the ball in the post”.

Generally speaking, it was always viewed as bad for very tall people to dribble the ball in the post (or anywhere) because when they dribbled the ball, it was, naturally, high off the floor, spending a lot of time in the air, unattended. Those high dribbles gave smaller quicker players the opportunity to come and swipe the ball away. Like taking a balloon from a child. Those high exposed dribbles just don’t cut it with coaches, not now and not ever. Nor does dribbling in a crowd; again, the ball is just too exposed. Both instances take away from the advantage that a tall player has: height, that space high off the floor where shorter players cannot quickly and easily reach. By putting the ball down, you enter the realm of the midgets. Giraffes do not bend down the limbs of tall trees to share with rodents.

But this idea of not dribbling in the post was before post players began to develop “post moves”, especially post moves that required manipulating the defender in the post, getting the defender to lean one way, so that with proper footwork, you could gain better position and territory in the post to score. The dribble drop-step: a staple of every post player for the past twenty-plus years. The danger comes when there is perimeter defense nearby. The danger comes when the post dribbler doesn’t s-p-r-e-a-d o-u-t enough so to keep the ball from being poked away by the defender in the post. (This happened to Yao Ming over and over in the recent completed series against Utah. Yao would catch low left post, his teammates would clear to give him space, and he’d turn, look middle and dribbe, dribble, dribble, standing UP TOO STRAIGHT and Mehmet Okur would evenually poke the exposed dribble away. “The way to cut down turnovers is to limit the dribble,” said Yao, who hit 10 of 17 shots. “You have to give them (the Pacers) credit. They have a good steal team, particularly stealing from the big guys.”) The danger comes, as it comes to every player everywhere on the court, when you show the ball to the defense.

In March, I was watching a college game and Rick Majerus, the best college basketball coach alive, commented that a post player brought the ball down, dribbled the ball in the post, and that that player should learn from Shaq and Tim Duncan, who, Majerus contended, never brought the ball below their shoulders. I, of course, worship every word Majerus speaks, but on this I humbly disagreed. Shaq and Duncan never hold the ball below their shoulders but they certainly dribble drop-step when defense has been cleared and when they spread out so that defense cannot then possibly disrupt the move with a poke-away.

Guards and perimeter players protect their dribbles by keeping the dribbles low, not exposing the ball to defense, and by utilizing quick hands. To a degree, and with the protection of isolation on the floor, post players can now do the same.

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Posted in post play | 4 Comments »

 
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