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Your Summer Reading List…The Defense

This past weekend at my Saturday Skills workout one aspect of the game that we were working on was reading the defense off a pin down and how to get the appropriate shot off of that read.  My Elite Basketball Training skill development workouts help players develop specific skills lik passing, dribbling, and shooting in order to ensure that each player has the confidence and the ability to be a threat on the court whenever they catch the basketball.  Beyond that, we also focus on reading situations properly when on the basketball court, in particular, the defense.  Being able to read the defense and going where they are not adds a degree of efficiency to your game that when combined with elevated skills can make you a more effective offensive player and consequently very difficult to guard.

As I mentioned, we were working on different reads coming off a pin down.  In the video below, you will see that the players are getting a jump shot first off a curl and then off a flare.

In the first series on this pin down drill, the players are curling into the pass for the jumper.  In this situation, if there were a defender guarding them, the defender would most likely be trailing the play and get caught by the screen allowing the offensive player to run right through the screen and into an open jump shot.  In this situation, it is also likely that the hedge defender (defender on the screener) is not showing at all and doing little to impede the progress of the shooter.

In the second series I step in as a defender of the cutter and shoot the gap.  By doing so, I prevent the offensive player from running the curl from the original series and they are forced to make the read and adjust.  In this case, the correct read for the cutter is  to flare out to the corner for a  jump shot.

Finally, in the last series, the defender has forced the offensive player to catch the ball going away from the basket.  Doing so requires the player to pivot into a triple threat position.  In this situation, the offensive player is making a pass back to the passer and then catching the defender off guard with a quick cut to the rim for a finish.

All of these situations require the offensive player to properly read the defense and go where they are not.  Reading the defense is a skill unto itself that makes the player more efficient on the basketball court.  It allows them to get more open looks at the basket.  Reading the defense properly can also give the offensive player a slight step on their defender that when combined with solid jump shooting and/or attacking skills will make them difficult to defend.

If you have interest in developing your skills this summer contact me directly about our Summer Skills Series and year long Saturday Skills sessions.  Each week I provide the players with new drills, thoughts, and feedback to work on each day in order to help them develop their game.

Elevate your game. Become ELITE.

Rich Stoner


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