Basketball Truisms

There are certain parts of the game that always hold true. As a staff you need to be aware of these things and make sure to incorporate them into your system of play. In addition, players need to be aware of these areas to make sure they look for them in the course of the game.

TRUISM # 1: There is a direct correlation between the number of ball reversals and defensive breakdowns. Players have to understand that the hardest thing to do defensively is to close out — to be running out at a player from the help position. Having said that, we need to understand that’s an advantage our offense must look to create, i.e., to get the defense to close out as often as possible. We want the ball to be reversed from side to side. With our team I can tell you that our scoring proficiency goes up as the number of passes and ball reversals goes up. Of course we have a shot clock that forces us to shoot the ball quicker, but we still would like a minimum of 3 passes, as we then know the ball is getting reversed. When we only throw 1 or 2 passes, we find that it’s very easy for the defense to load up to the ball.

TRUISM # 2: The closer you run your offense to the basket, the more physical your screens can be. We have found that the officials are more apt to let contact go when it’s closer to the basket, as they are used to seeing more contact down there as opposed to out by the 3-point line. We feel that’s why the flex action is allowed to get away with some physical baseline and pin down screens, and why we have to be careful when setting a back screen out by the 3 point line. So give some thought to having some part of your offensive system where you run your stuff closer to the rim.

TRUISM # 3: The faster the ball moves, the closer the defenders stay to their man. We have found that when we move the ball a little faster, the defensive players are more concerned with staying up with their man and tend to not jump to the ball and get in help position. We also feel that that leaves us with more room to drive it, as the defenders are out of position just enough to allow us to get a good driving angle on them. I would say that if you don’t have a good scoring post man you should look to move the ball a little faster at times and create driving opportunities. If you do have a good post man, you would want to slow it down and give the post man a good look.

Kevin Eastman