Fundamentals and Footwork: What are we really teaching?

I am skeptical that USA Basketball overtaking basketball administration and coach education in the United States is a positive, and this article on footwork that was sent to me has done nothing to alleviate my fears. My primary fear with mandatory coach education by a single institution was deciding who determined the skills to be taught, and if this article is indicative of the USA Basketball curriculum, it should not be USA Basketball. Read more

Problems with the triple threat

KP

Read more

Stride Stop

Here is a stride stop used in the Playmakers Basketball Development League curriculum:

Rajon Rondo Shows “The Rondo” and the Euro-Step

Rajon Rondo demonstrating “The Rondo” against the Raptors:

Next, Rondo demonstrates the Euro-Step:

H2G Vol.4 Front CoverOriginally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, Volume 4.

For similar content, subscribe to the free weekly Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter.

Rajon Rondo’s Euro-Step

Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter features a short article on the importance of finishing, and mentions the success of great and creative finishers like Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash in the 2010 NBA Play-offs.

Here is an example of Rondo using the Euro-Step against the Cavs:


H2G Vol.4 Front Cover

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, Volume 4.

For similar content, subscribe to the free weekly Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter.

Stephen Curry’s Dream Shake (aka The Rondo)

Golden State’s Stephen Curry is already one of the NBA’s most creative players. Here is the video of one of his moves which is getting a lot of publicity.

I have heard this move called the “Steve Nash Hook” and the “Duck Under.” Now, the play has been branded the “Dream Shake,” the “Show-and-Go,” and the “Step-in-Steph.”

I teach the move to the players that I train and a couple girls used the move in games this season, though not with Curry’s violent fake or success.

How does a player train these creative finishes and prepare to use them in the games?

“I have a lot in my bag of tricks,” Curry said. “I was always a short kid on my team, so I would always get my stuff blocked. I’ve had to find creative ways to score my whole career.”

His imagination has been fueled with Golden State. Curry says “watching Monta (Ellis’) genius” around the rim has helped, and, of course, there are the hours the rookie spends practicing.

During pre-pre-game warm-ups, it sometimes might appear that Curry, Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson are messing around. They take turn after turn sprinting toward the basket and trying a variety of inventive layups, which they call “crafties” and look like shots that wouldn’t be tried on a playground.

Until they are. And then they are tried in an NBA game.

“They do it in a loose environment and then when they come into play in the games, they’re used to shooting them in a relaxed state,” Smart said.

H2G Vol.4 Front CoverOriginally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, Volume 4.

For similar content, subscribe to the free weekly Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter.

Tyreke Evans’ Game-Winning Stride-Stop Fade Away

Last week, the Sacramento Kings’ Tyreke Evans hit another game-winning shot, this time against the Denver Nuggets. In this case, he attacked Denver’s Kenyon Martin with his left hand, stopped and hit a fade-away shot.

I teach this finishing move. However, rather than shoot the fade away, we make the front pivot into a hook shot. The counter is to pivot, fake the hook shot and step through for a lay-up.

Unfortunately, some officials call this move a travel because few players use this footwork – it looks like a travel. However, this is a great way to finish for smaller players because they stop and pivot away from the defender as the defender’s momentum moves him further from the ball.

H2G Vol.4 Front CoverOriginally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, Volume 4.

For similar content, subscribe to the free weekly Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter.

Tyreke Evans’ Game-Winning Euro-Step Move

The Sacramento Kings’ Tyreke Evans beat the Milwaukee Bucks with a game-winning lay-up around 7’0 center Andrew Bogut. The play started with a hand-off at the top which forced the switch. Then, Evans attacked the bigger player, putting Bogut on his heels.

The step-step move gained popularity with Manu Ginobili, and many people now teach it. However, Allen Iverson (and probably many other before him) used the move for years to get an angle to the basket and draw fouls.

As the player attacks with his right-hand dribble, he steps to his right to get the defender leaning in the direction and then steps past the defender with his left foot. In this instance, he finished with an inside-hand lay-up with his right hand.

If the defender does not react to the lateral step with the right foot, the player can step straight ahead with his left foot and finish with a right-hand lay-up. The move is especially effective in situations like these when the ball handler is attacking a back-pedaling defender or a defender waiting near the rim for the attacking player.

H2G Vol.4 Front CoverOriginally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, Volume 4.

For similar content, subscribe to the free weekly Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter.

Jump Stop

Improving Offensive Footwork: Extension Lay-up Drill

In youth basketball, coaches should utilize a variety of lay-up drills that focus on different things, such as speed lay-ups, contested lay-ups and bad angle lay-ups because lay-ups determine the outcome of games. The following is a half-court lay-up drill focused on footwork, finishing with both hands and utilizing a good first step to minimize dribbles and maximize offensive efficiency.

The drill is simple. Each player makes three of each kind of lay-up before switching to the left side (a total of 24 lay-ups in the entire drill). Every lay-up starts on the wing at the three-point line, free throw line extended. As the previous player goes, players spin the ball and catch on a one-count or jump stop with knees bent and butt low. Each move uses only one dribble and three steps. Players must learn to extend with the dribble on their first step. Read more

Next Page »

  • What Is A Playmaker?

    Who decided that a point guard has to be small? More importantly, what is a point guard? We expect a point guard to be a leader and have a high basketball I.Q. Why don’t we expect or challenge all players to develop this game awareness? Why rely on only one player? Read more →
  • The PBDL Concept

    English soccer academies wait until players are 11 to play full 11v11 soccer; in Italy, youth basketball players participate in skill-oriented clinics at 6-years-old, but start competitive games at 12. In the United States, kids play 5v5 full court games and compete for national championships when they are 8-years-old.

    Read more →

  • Starting A PBDL

    The PBDL emphasizes learning and development. Presently, players and parents have numerous recreation options - leagues based on fun and equal participation, typically for beginners - and numerous competitive opportunities - teams focused on strategy, game preparation and winning. There are few true development leagues - until now.

    Read more →