Last week I left you with three things effective basketball players do well:
1. Make open shots.
2. Don’t let the opponent get open shots.
3. Create open shots for their teammates
Over the next three weeks I will highlight three ways players can put themselves in a position to be effective in these three areas. This week we will focus on making open shots.
“Shots are made & missed before the ball is even caught.”
– I think Phil Beckner…could be someone else.
A large part of making open shots is getting open to shoot open shots. The first two points address getting open and the last point puts a player in position to capitalize on being open.
Three ways to make open shots:
1. Sprint the Floor
2. Space, Cut & Screen
3. 10 Toes & 10 Fingers
Sprint the Floor
Sprint! Don’t jog from defense to offense. This puts the defense on their heels and forces a high level of communication. If a team sprints consistently, the defense will fail to communicate, struggle to get matched up and give you wide-open shots.
Space, Cut & Screen
Defensive players are taught to see “man & ball” at all times. “Man & ball” is coach jargon for “see the person you are guarding and the offensive player with the basketball”. Because this is true, stationary offensive players are easy to defend while offensive players in constant movement make it difficult to see “man & ball”. Effective movement without the basketball takes place in three forms: space, cut and screen.
Spacing is exactly as it sounds. It is the space between offensive players. If two players are closer than 12’, one defender can guard both offensive players. Unless you are screening, never be closer than 12 to 15 feet from another player. If you find yourself 12 to 15 feet from another player, move!
Cutting takes place any time an offensive player moves toward the basket in an attempt to receive a pass and score, or to create space for a teammate. Effective cuts are slow to fast. Cutting is extremely effective in two general scenarios. One, when the person guarding you looks at the ball and loses sight of you. Two, if the person guarding you is trying to deny you from catch the ball.
Screening is when an offensive player picks or stands in the way of the defensive player guarding one of their teammates. A couple tips for setting & receiving screens:
1. The user (person coming off the screen) reads the defender.
2. The screener reads the user.
3. At all times one person pressures the rim and the other pops for the catch.
As a rule of thumb, the screener is usually the one that gets an open shot. Kids, if you want to get open shot, SET A SCREEN!
10 Toes & 10 Fingers
Catch the ball with your butt down, 10 toes to the target and 10 fingers through the roof. I learned this concept from Kevin Eastman. A lot of coaches call this being “shot ready”. If your fingers aren’t through the ceiling, you can’t catch the ball. If your feet aren’t pointed at the rim, you won’t be on balance. Lastly, if your butt isn’t down, you won’t be able to get the shot off.