We hope you enjoy a great Thanksgiving with friends and family. We will back on the weekend of December 7-8.
Rick Barry, now a hall of fame basketball player, shoots like the 5 year olds I coach. Underhanded, granny style. He’s my favorite example of why traditional shooting techniques are overrated.
So, should everyone shoot underhanded? Absolutely not! However, Rick Barry proves that shooting form matters a lot less than this one thing all players should be doing more often…
The more your practice, the better you get! If a player can make 90% of his free throws, shooting underhanded, then does it really matter how perfect an 8 year old shoots the ball? The real problem with most people’s shooting form is that they don’t practice it enough. Repetition is the key.
The shooting basics that everyone agrees on
There are thousands of books out there about shooting techniques, theories and advice. Everyone has different opinions about what’s important. Most coaches agree on a few principles such as:
1) Using a dominant hand and the other hand guides the release
2) Bending your legs for power
3) Follow through
4) Have a routine
There are also a few things every coach agrees you shouldn’t do:
1) Don’t use a two hand push to shoot the ball
2) Don’t lean forward, backward or to the sides as you shoot
3) Don’t shoot if it’s out of your range
Why I (almost) Never Teach Shooting Anymore
1) It’s because kids don’t practice enough. Even with kids that do private training with me for an hour once a week. If that one hour is all they dedicate to shooting every week, then it’s very difficult to improve. Every week is like groundhog day, the same thing happens every time. They’ll miss a lot of shots at the beginning, then slowly improve to average by the end of practice. They just don’t want it bad enough.
2) Some players are too young to learn the proper way to shoot. The right age is different for everyone. The determining factors are age, size, maturity and level of commitment to basketball. Some younger kids are great shooters regardless of the technique they use because they practice so often. So why mess up a good thing when they’re just 7 or 8 years old? If they’re 11, 12 or 13 and high school basketball is right around the corner. Then yes, their shooting form becomes more important.
3) Most players have to change their shot again anyway. There is no 7 year old that shoots like a 14 year old. There is no 14 year old that shoots like an 18 year old. A players shooting form is like teeth, they’re always changing, always adjusting as a person ages and gets stronger. As long as they’re using basic shooting principles (one hand dominant, bend legs, hand in cookie jar), then I’m very reluctant to change their shooting form. A player needs to prove to me that they’re going to practice on their own as well before I start changing their form.
How much practice is enough?
It depends on the player.
Right now, I coach several players that are very good at shooting. There are a couple of players that average about 80% on free throws. They shoot about 45-50% from three point range. I don’t think they practice enough. Is it because I’m a jerk and don’t think the numbers are good enough? No, it’s because they still lack confidence. They question their technique. They doubt they’re accuracy when it comes to shooting in games. More shooting, more practice is needed to bang in to their heads that they’re great shooters. They’re stubborn, so they need to see it for themselves that they’re great shooters. They just need to spend more time shooting. I would say 3-4 times a week for an hour is what it would take for them to be confident in their shot.
There are other players I have that tell me they don’t spend any time on shooting. You would think they’re shooting percentage would be terrible, but it’s not! I have a couple of players that are capable of making 70-80% on free throws even though they almost never practice. Their one flaw is they’re inconsistent. One time they’ll make 20 out of 25 shots, next time they’ll make 10 out of 25 shots. If they just practiced twice a week for 30 minutes, they would consistently get better results.
Consistency is undeniable proof
If a players shooting results are consistent, then I’m convinced that they practice enough. That’s when I want to help them with they’re shooting form because the results will be easier to see. A player that consistently shoots 70-75% will notice right away when he starts to make 80-85% of his shots.
The Bottom line
The bottom line is that you need you don’t need to focus on technique as much as you need to focus on repetition. The more practice, the better you get!
Celtic legend, Red Auerbach, said it best: “Is there a right way or a wrong way? I say no! The answer is do what is best for you. Do it the way that you can make it. That’s the name of the game. Relax, follow through, but make it!”
Well maybe it shouldn’t be that much of a shock. At least to anyone that’s been following them the last couple of years. Paul George, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson are maturing right before our very eyes. And they did take the Miami Heat to 7 games in the 2013 playoffs. Now with another year of experience together under their belt, plus a chip a on their shoulder from last year’s playoffs, they’re really making a push to be this year’s champion. The Pacer’s are known for defense and they look to be in top form early in the season. It’s still too early to know Indiana’s destiny for sure, but the media is already taking notice.
The following article is from Bleacherreport.com and summarized by me:
After taking the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals last season and starting out 2013-14 at a franchise-record 8-0, it looks already as if the Indiana Pacers have replaced the back-to-back champions as the NBA’s best Eastern Conference team.
Yes, it’s early—but these Pacers are a far cry from their 4-7 start a year ago, and it looks like this dominance is going to stick around all season.
The Pacers have easily dispatched teams they should, like the New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, and have backed it up with wins against preseason contenders like the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies—all without really breaking a sweat.The Chicago Bulls were no match for the Indiana Pacers.
They are the only undefeated team in the league and one of only three Eastern Conference teams with a record above .500.
The Pacers boast the best defense around by a landslide, yielding just 84.5 points a game to opponents—nearly seven points a game fewer than the second-best Bulls.
They throw up almost nine blocks (8.8) a game, a dominating number, led by their deftly swatting Defensive Player of the Year candidate, center Roy Hibbert, who contributes exactly half of them—a singularly ridiculous 4.4 per outing.
Now a definite MVP candidate, small forward Paul George is playing out of his head on both sides of the ball. He’s carrying a 43 percent increase in his point production (17.4 to 24.9) and 54 percent increase in his efficiency (16.8 to 25.9) over last season, and adding eight rebounds, four assists and 1.5 steals to that.Look out. Paul George is having a career season.
Shooting guard Lance Stephenson’s averages are way above last season’s line in every offensive category. He’s shooting 48 percent from the field and 51 percent from behind the arc (18-of-35), and is developing into a capable passer with six assists a game now, giving the Pacers a hybrid backcourt that can effectively play two ways (SG/PG, PG/PG).The multi-tooled Lance Stephenson is the Indiana Pacers’ X-factor.
We got a peek at Stephenson’s potential against the Grizzlies when he recorded his first triple-double, including 11 rebounds. He already averages five rebounds per 36 minutes over his career and is finally getting that time, to the team’s defensive benefit.
David West reminded ESPN’s Brian Windhorst how close:
We believe in this locker room that we can get the No. 1 seed and we started the year with that attitude. The fact that Game 7 of the conference finals wasn’t in our home building we felt was the difference in a trip to the Finals, and we’re going to do everything in our power to get a Game 7 in our building.
The Heat and Pacers play opposite games. Indiana suffocates opponents on the floor and the boards. Miami forces opponents to keep up on offense. It will be interesting (and exciting) to see which scheme wins out—the Heat’s O or the Pacers’ D—when the two finally meet in the first of four regular-season contests on Dec. 10.
Derrick Rose, Tony Parker, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, John Wall. None of them will be winning an NBA championship anytime soon. Hear me out…
My theory is that you can’t win the NBA championship with your point guard as your biggest star. We’ve seen teams get to the finals with a star point guard such as the Thunder with Westbrook, the Sixers with Iverson, it’s rare. But based on NBA history, it’s impossible for a score first point guard to win.
What are some of the greatest scoring point guards of the current era? Curry, Irving, Rose, etc. Tony Parker is borderline given he took over 20 shots per game in the playoffs, but he’s only shot 13 attempts per game for his career.
I couldn’t believe how much popularity Kyrie Irving received after playing well in the Rising Stars game during All-Star weekend. People completely ignored Kenneth Faried who actually won the MVP for the game with 37 points. Instead, they chose to hype up Irving who ended up playing in the shadows of Chris Paul’s monster game of 21 points and 15 assists in the real All-Star game.
I could be proven wrong this year
My theory will be heavily challenged by Derrick Rose this year. The Bulls are the one team that might go to 7 games in a playoff series with the Heat this year. I still say the most popular player to not play last season (due to a serious knee injury) will never win until there is someone on his team better than him. He draws too much attention from defense because he always has the ball in his hands. He will be constantly double teamed and taken away from his comfort spots. Last time Derrick Rose was deep in the playoffs, he was overwhelmed by double teams and had no reliable teammate to pick up the lack of scoring. Rose needs another point guard to get him open looks while he plays shooting guard. But that’s part of the problem, at 6’4″ he might be too small to play shooting guard compared to the likes of 6’6″ Kobe Bryant, 6’7″ Joe Johnson, 6’10″ Paul George and so on.
So who are the stars that win championships?
It’s players that lead their team in scoring without always having the ball in their hands. Jordan in the 90′s, Shaq in late 90′s-00′s, Duncan in 2007, Kobe in the 2010, Nowitski in 2011 and now Lebron. Besides a non-point guard that can score, what else does a championship team need? A point guard that passes! Jordan had Ron Harper, Shaq had Derek Fisher, Duncan had a young Tony Parker, Kobe had Derek Fisher (again), Nowitski had Jason Kidd and now Lebron has Mario Chalmers.
Would you rather be Derek Fisher or Kyrie Irving?
It’s not necessarily the players that make the Sportscenter headlines or have the most popular shoe deal. A pass-first point guard is a key component to a championship team. Teams need a guard that is willing to pass more often than shoot. It leads to better shots for the team. Plus the point guard passes so much, that defenses forget that he can shoot too! Which means the defense has to worry about every player on the court.
Some starting point guards on winning teams are not Hall of Fame worthy, some not even All-Star worthy. No kid grows up hoping to be the next Derek Fisher, yet Fisher has 5 more rings than Rose, Westbrook, Allen Iverson, or Kyrie Irving. Derek Fisher played defense, took care of the ball and most importantly passed the ball to Kobe or Shaq and stayed out the of the way.
Teams to watch for
Now that’s what makes the Nets so interesting this year. How do you double team, when they’re whole starting five is capable of putting up 20 points on any given night? Their problem will be staying healthy and injury free.
And from the west, the Thunder and Rockets will competing for a spot in NBA Finals. I give the edge to the Thunder because Durant is due for an MVP season. And I think Westbrook’s assist count this year will be the highest its ever been after coming back from injury. Unfortunately, last seasons Western Conference champs, the San Antonio Spurs, will likely get old right before our very eyes this year and not have the stamina to make it far.
In the end this will be Miami’s year again. Don’t get me wrong, Rose’s Bulls will put up a heck of fight. But in a 7 game series, you can wear Rose down with double teams without the threat of Jimmy Butler or Luol Deng dropping multiple 30 point games. In June 2014, you’ll see an exhausted Rose watching TV as the Heat three-peat.
Back in the early 2000′s, a player by the name of Ruben Patterson dubbed himself the “Kobe Stopper” because of his defensive ambitions. Ever heard of him? Most kids today haven’t. Patterson became somewhat of a laughing stock of jokes because he really didn’t stop Kobe at all. No one could. But the phrase “Kobe Stopper” lives on to this day. In the above video, Patterson and the Portland Trailblazers defense make several major mistakes to allow Kobe to not only hit the game tying shot, but the game winner at the buzzer as well! Read on and learn how you can become a real Kobe Stopper!
When the offensive player has the ball, and starts in triple threat, he has 3 options that are threats to the defense: Shoot, pass to someone who might shoot or dribble towards the basket to take an open shot or pass to an open player. When the offense is in triple threat, the defender needs to be in his defensive stance.
How do you react when the offensive player wants to shoot, pass or dribble?
First of all, those are the offensive player’s only options that you should be threatened by on defense. A shot could result in points. A pass could lead to an open man. A dribble move could lead to an opening where the offense can get closer to the basket or have an opening to pass to an open player. If an offensive player is making any movement away from the basket, that is usually to your advantage and a sign that you’re playing solid D.
Defending the jump shot
You don’t have to block every shot. You just have to contest it. That means having a hand out to distract the shooter. Either put a hand close to his face to obstruct his view. Or put your hand near the ball to possibly block it, but more than likely it will force the shooter to alter his shot and lower his chances of making it.
Defending the pass
Just like you don’t have to block every steal, you don’t have to steal every pass. But you’re most important task is disrupt the passer’s ideal pass. So you play close and “trace the ball”. Your hands follow the ball. You may get a few ball tips every game just by having your hands in the right position. Worst case scenario, you make it harder for the offense to pass wherever he pleases.
How to guard the drive to the basket
When a good scorer decides to drive, he’s looking to score. This is the worst time to give him space. You need to body him up and prevent him from driving where he wants. Force the offense into shooting a fadeaway jumper, or a heavily contested layup. Just keep your body in between the man the with the ball and basket.
As you may have noticed, it’s all about not letting a good scorer do whatever he wants. Force him to use his 2nd or 3rd option, not his best go-to move. You also need to be very close to the defender to make him comfortable. This will result in fouls sometimes. But that’s why you’re given 5-6 fouls to work with before you foul out! Fouls are only a problem if you’re giving up too many free throws or you foul out. Just use them wisely.
And finally, none of the above tips will work unless you play with heart and do your absolute best. Good defense is not about talent, it’s about effort. If you really want to be a good defender, you can be a Kobe Stopper today!
This is a great opportunity for beginner players of all ages. We want everyone to have a chance to love the game, but it starts with the basics. Learn the rules, practice the skills and understand the work it takes to be a great player and get the most out of basketball! It starts with Basketball 101.
Here are the basics that we will cover:
- Explanation of rules such as traveling, double dribble, fouls etc.
– Fundamental skills of basketball such as shooting form, dribbling technique, defensive positioning
– Tips and tricks on how to get the ball more in basketball games
– Individual skills assessment that will reveal strengths, weaknesses and potential of each player
At the conclusion of the class, players will receive a sheet with basketball rules explained, basketball homework that players can practice at home and a special goodie bag including NBA memorabilia!
When: Wednesday, November 13th 3:00-4:30pm
Where: Parks Junior High School, 1710 Rosecrans Ave., Fullerton
Cost: $7 per player
Class size will be limited to only 12 players so that each player will get individual attention and an opportunity to practice the skills. Register online to hold your spot. Sorry, no walk up registrations will be accepted.
First of all, it’s important to remember that defense comes down to heart and hustle. There’s very little technique. Once you learn the basics below, it’s more important that defense is played with all-out effort. Even with good technique and footwork, a lazy player will not be successful.
What is the point of defense?
Plain and simple: To keep the offense from scoring points. In basketball, to win games, the offense has to score points. The team that scores the most points wins the game. You don’t get wins by getting the most steals, blocks or rebounds. So, while you can’t score points on defense, it’s very important to prevent the other team from scoring points.
This is as simple a goal as you can make for the defense. This is how I start explaining defense to players, regardless of age. It’s important for young players to understand the basics of offense and defense. But you’ll be surprised at the answers you get if you ask a teenager with 5+ years basketball experience “What is the goal of playing defense?” Over time, the goal of defense gets clouded by all the other priorities coaches give players such as defensive sliding, team help defense and advanced techniques that have to do with footwork and body position. All of that doesn’t mean anything if you’re goal isn’t to prevent the other team from scoring. I think players have to be reminded of that every once in a while.
How do you play defense when your man has the ball?
Assuming your team is playing man to man defense, this is how to play defense against the person you’re guarding.
1. Keep your body between the offensive player and the basket. You must physically be in between the player and the rim so that he/she must go around you or somehow get you out of position first before going to basket for a high percentage shot. Usually the offense wants to get as close to the basket as possible for a shot, but sometimes will settle for a farther shot. If he/she is a good shooter, then it’s important for the defense to do more than just be in between the offense and basket, which leads to…
2. Be within arm’s reach of the offensive player. If you’re close enough to touch the ball at any time, you are close enough to prevent shots, passes and disrupt dribbles toward the basket.
3. Be in your defensive stance. This is your ready position when the offense has the ball. If your body is low and you’re light on your toes, then you can quickly move the same direction as the offense so that your body is still in front. Exactly how your stance is will be different depending on which coach you ask. If you ask me, this is how it should look:
- Bent legs with your head below your opponents head. Act like your sitting in a chair with your back slightly forward.
- Legs spread apart just the right amount. Too close and you won’t be in a low enough stance. Legs too far apart and you won’t be able to react quickly enough to the offensive players movements.
- Eyes on the player’s stomach, not just the ball. The offense can’t go anywhere without it’s stomach. So, while a player might give you several great dribble moves and fakes, the stomach hardly moves until the player moves in a threatening way towards the basket.
- Hands ready. When a player is dribbling, just have both hands ready in case the player decides to 1) shoot 2) pass or 3) makes a dribble move. Whatever, the offensive player decides to do with the ball, just trace it with hands and try to get a block or steal. At worst, you’ll at least force your opponent to worry about your defensive attempt and might make a mistake.
Stay tuned for more articles on defense. You’ll be a “Kobe Stopper” in no time!
|Full Name: Michael Jeffrey Jordan Born: 2/17/63 in Brooklyn, NY Drafted by: Chicago Bulls, 1984 Transactions: Retired, 10/6/93; Activated from retirement, 3/18/95; Retired, 1/13/99; Signed with Washington Wizards, 9/25/01. High School: Laney (Wilmington, NC) College: North Carolina Nickname: Air Jordan||Height: 6-6; Weight: 216 lbs. Honors: Six-time NBA champion (1991-93, 1996-98); NBA MVP (1988, ’91, ’92, ’96, ’98); 10-time All-NBA First Team (1987-93, 1996-98); All-NBA Second Team (1985); Defensive Player of the Year (1988); Nine-time All-Defensive First Team (1988-93, 1996-98); Rookie of the Year (1985); 14-time All-Star; All-Star MVP (1988, ’96, ’98); One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996); Two-time Olympic gold medalist (1984, ’92).|
Above information is from NBA.com
For the Love of the Game weekly workouts are booked! We are implementing a couple of new policies so that we can give as many players as possible the opportunity to play. All current participants will be given priority to re-register without missing any workouts. New signups will be placed on a waiting list until space becomes available. For more information, see below.
Current Participants – We ask that all current participants inform us when you will not attend the workouts. If we don’t receive advance notice that your child will be absent, then it will still count as one of your paid workouts. If you do give us notice ahead of time, we can have someone else take your spot for the weekend. Plus, if you inform us ahead of time, it will not count as one of your paid workouts. The deadline to notify us is on Fridays at 12pm before the upcoming weekend. After that time, we will be contacting people that are on the waiting list to let them know they can take someone else’s spot for the weekend. Once you run out of paid workouts, you must pay again at your last paid workout to hold your spot.
New/Interested Participants – If you’re new and want to attend our workouts, please contact us first to make sure there is space. The website will be updated every Friday with information on what times are available. If you would like to be added to our waiting list, please let us know what day and time you plan on attending. Please wait for our confirmation that you can attend the workouts. If you’re interested in starting a private or group training, we do have a couple of open slots left. For days and times, please email Coach Josh.
To contact us, please email to email@example.com
Thank you to everyone that has made this program successful! We’ve grown a lot just on your word of mouth, so we’re very grateful.
Coach Josh & For the Love of the Game Team