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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2017 NBA Playoffs: It Just So Happened

It’s all about the stories, isn’t it?  The stories of the NBA Playoffs are not just about the X’s & O’s.  And while I keep a close coaching eye on the game plans, strategies, and adjustments, I am just as drawn to the personal stories of the players and coaches on display in the playoffs. It’s all about their stories and when you consider how some of these guys made it to where they are, their stories are often inspirational and fascinating – but then again, when you look closely, each of us has our own intriguing and often inspirational story.  We just have to uncover them.

BASKETBALL – Making His Mark

It just so happened that a little boy was born into a family in Sudan, a nation ravaged by civil wars. Continue reading

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2017 NCAA Tournament: The Other Side of March

While many are finding this year’s version of March Madness to be a tad dull (see Where’s the Drama? from SI.com’s Pete Thamel), the NCAA tournament still holds its place as the most entertaining three-week drama in sports. We may not always have the Cinderella upsets (and as Thamel explains, the traditional concept of Cinderella may be a thing of the past) or the buzzer beaters, but we certainly have intriguing match-ups, inspiring coaches, and heart-warming player stories.  And while the drama unfolds, we also have the underappreciated regular occurrence of the coaching carousel.  Many fans will keep track of it, especially if their teams have finished playing, but few will truly consider the ramifications for many hard-working family providers.

BASKETBALL – The Carousel

Tom Crean is understandably receiving the most attention after being let go at Indiana this week. While completely expected, Crean’s dismissal has been the focus of those watching the carousel. Continue reading

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