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Former Charlotte Bobcats (NBA) Head Coach, Mike Dunlap, explains how having the ball in the area between free throw line extended and the corner can hurt the zone when the offense does a “crack back” action.
Drill Summary: The offense is in a 1-3-1 alignment with the point guard at the top, the 2 and 3 men are on opposite wings, the 4 man is at the high post and the 5 is in the ball-side low post. Once the ball gets passed to the wing player in the discussed area, he takes a couple dribbles towards half court. As that is happening, the player in the low post pulls out to the short corner. The ball handler then fakes a pass toward the point guard and instead throws it back towards the 5 man that is now in the short corner. Once the ball is in the short corner, the pass can be made to the high post man diving hard to the basket or on a diagonal pass to the wing.
1) Having the ball in the “gray area” between the free throw line extended and the corner hurts the zone because that is the area where bumps are made on defensive assignments.
2) Any short corner pass flattens the defense. A pass behind the zone makes the defense shrink.
3) When the defense is flattened out, it allows passes to be made to the top.
NBA Strategic Skills Coach & Consultant, Drew Hanlen, shows you a pair of drills that can be used to improve the mechanics of a player’s shot. The first drill works on the player’s upper body mechanics, and the second drill works on the player’s lower body mechanics.
Drill Summary: For the first drill, the player stands right in front of the rim, with a coach standing under it, and must make 20 shots in rapid fire. The coach has 2 basketballs and is handing them to the player as soon as one shot goes up. For the second drill, the player will now stand a little further back, about halfway between the basket and the free throw line. He places a basketball in between his knees and then jumps up and shoots with another basketball, with the coach rebounding for the player. This forces the player to be squared to the basket and jump straight up and down.
1) Catch high, keep high. Don’t bring the ball down.
2) Follow through with the wrist pointed at the rim.
3) Keep your body squared to the basket.
4) The ball between the legs also helps keep the player’s feet at the appropriate width apart.
5) Never miss short. Give yourself a chance for the ball to go in.
Miller Grove (GA) High School Head Coach, Sharman White, takes you through an aggressive closeout drill that ultimately turns into a two on two defensive situation. This drill teaches proper closeout technique, while creating a two on two situation, where you can adapt various game like situations. This drill also emphasizes proper communication and slides needed in order to be an effective defense and carry out an effective game plan.
Drill Summary: Players begin in a four out offensive position containing two slot players and two mid wing to short corner spots. The player in either the right or left wing will pass it to the slot player next to him/her. The slot will then make a quick pass to the next slot player. The player making the initial pass will sprint to the opposite slot and close out aggressively to prevent the three point shot. The slot player who swung the ball will sprint to closeout the opposite corner creating a two on two situation.
University of Minnesota Head Coach, Richard Pitino, uses the “85 & 2 Drill” regularly in practice, as a conditioner, to help his team stay in shape to play an up and down full-court pace of basketball. The drill requires the team to make 85 left-handed lay-ups in two minutes.
Drill Summary: Coach Pitino tells the team to split in half and go to each baseline to start the drill. The drill begins with a player passing to a coach on the elbow, getting the ball back, and going three dribbles to the other basket for a lefty lay-up. The clock will not start until the first lay-up is made. A coach is placed on each left elbow and the drill takes place on both sides of the court with continuous left-handed lay-ups. The team can only use three basketballs for the entire drill.
1) Limit Your Dribbles (Three Dribbles after Receiving the Ball Back from the Coach)
2) Dribbling and Finishing with Your Weak Hand
3) Passing & Catching on the Go
Robert Morris University Head Coach, Andy Toole, explains how important it is to step to a pass and catch it before the defender is able to close out. This segment will help you become better offensively as you’ll work on footwork and squaring up to the basket to shoot.
Drill Summary: This drill consists of one player who catches a “reverse rolling pass” from the coach and squares up to the basket as quickly as he can using the proper footwork. The drill is conducted on the short corner block on one side of the court and continues to the short corner on the other side of the court around the entire perimeter.