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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Losing the Low Post Tradition

Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

As we shift focus to the NBA playoffs, I’ve been catching up with my hometown Milwaukee Bucks and have witnessed a transformation that most of us in the basketball world have noticed happening for quite some time – the vanishing low post (We took a closer look in 2013 with Christmas & Post-Ups). Gone are the days of Milwaukee’s Lew Alcindor hitting sky hooks and drop-stepping from the block, but we have welcomed in two other seven-footers in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greg Monroe wheeling and dealing from the elbow.  They’re still posting up with their back to the basket, but they provide evidence of how the game of my youth has changed and it reminds me of the struggles going on within the church of today. Continue reading

2017 NCAA Tournament: Are You Jumping on the Bandwagon?

Many of us saw our favorite teams in the NCAA Tournament, or the teams we picked, fall by the wayside as Gonzaga, South Carolina, Oregon, and North Carolina bulled their way to Phoenix.  It’s been an exciting tournament with plenty of good basketball that brought us to four teams, but as the field has narrowed, many of us become bandwagon jumpers.  That’s right, I’ll admit it. There are some teams you just fall in love with as you see them play in the tournament and the next thing you know, you’re ordering a t-shirt off the Fan’s Edge website.  I do it all the time when my favorites lose, but I still stay grounded with my original teams and fully admit that I’m jumping on the band wagon. Continue reading