Setting the Pick and Roll

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

What’s not to love about the Pick and Roll?  Turn on the NBA playoffs and you’ll see a ball screen just about every other possession.  While there’s nothing like pacing and spacing to rev up an offense, ball screens and the actions they create, like rolling, popping, or slipping, force the defense to do something.  And that’s when an offense can truly be effective by responding to how a defense attempts to play.  We’ve talked about them before in Snaking the Ball Screen and Sex and the Pick and Roll, but teams in the playoffs continue to advance in their creativity in utilizing ball screens.  As the complexity grows and filters down to all levels, however, learning and teaching ball screens remains a basic fundamental that none of us should ignore.

Continue reading


Find a Way to Be a Hero on the Court and Off

Just a few weeks ago, our team was mired in a slump.  After winning our first four conference games, we dropped four in a row, including two at home to teams in the middle of the conference standings.  After scoring in the mid-80’s every game, we lost two high scoring affairs and then scored less than 70 in back-to-back games – definitely a low point in our season.  With a busy, loaded schedule ahead we had to make a pivot in the direction we were headed offensively and instituted a couple of subtle changes that have a sparked a resurgence as we have won four in a row, including two redemption wins against teams that beat us earlier, including the No. 14 team in Division III.  Those changes for our team also remind me of the subtle changes many of us may need to make when we experience challenges or setbacks in our life and walk with Jesus. Continue reading


2016 NBA Playoffs: Plays Behind the Plays

Most coaches will tell you that statistics do not tell you the whole story.  Sure, stats like shooting percentages, points scored, rebounds, assists, and turnovers can tell you a great deal about player productivity, but far too often, the plays that truly matter and truly decide games often go unnoticed. While the NBA now utilizes advanced technology (see Basketball’s Eye in the Sky) to capture and analyze every movement on the court, the league is now giving fans and observers a better look at how players impact the game through plays that often go unnoticed in the box scores. Continue reading