Offensive Flow With the Golden State Warriors

Photo: Ben Margot, Associated Press

Let me begin by saying that our Division III college men’s basketball team is not the Golden State Warriors, nor do we expect them to be.  However, with the Warriors at the top of the basketball world, many of us in the coaching profession have attempted to emulate or at least find applications from the Warrior offense – and our staff is no different.  We don’t have Curry, Durant, Thompson, and Green, but we do have some terrifically gifted young players.  The Warriors’ style of play, which has often been called Flow, fits our team well and over the past few years we have adapted many of their actions into how we play.  Not only does it work for us, but it aligns very well with the attitude we want for our team.  We want to spread the ball around, play unselfishly, and allow each of our players to find a role in our offense – much like we strive for in our lives off the court and in our faith.  The challenge, though, is to make it flow. Continue reading

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An Offensive Attitude

I love this time of year!  Practice begins with excitement and vigor as players step into new roles and new players step into a new program.  Every year is unique and different, but one thing I’ve learned through coaching for 35 years is how much more important the “How’s and Why’s” are compared to the “What’s.”  We have returning players fretting over our calls and sets, racking their brains to remember our playbook from last year, and we have newcomers scrambling to keep up with instructions and demonstrations. During our first week of practice, however, we’ve put that all on hold so that we could teach the attitudes we want our players to have when we have the ball.  They’re also a perfect reminder of how I want to approach my life as a Christian. Continue reading

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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.

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