Coach's Clipboard Newsletter #128
February 15, 2018
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Dear Coaches, Players, Friends,

Today's Quotes:

"The only important shot you take is the next one."

"Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting." - Christopher Morley

Today's Theme - Shot Selection

An important goal of your offense is to get a good shot each possession.  Getting good shots is an important component of improving your team's offensive efficiency.

If your team takes a lot of contested shots, forced shots, off-balance shots, etc, your shooting percentage will plummet.  Good defense can force you into bad shots as players become impatient and try to force the issue.  And then there is the occasional player who is only concerned about his point total that game... but let's forget him for now.  

Throughout the season, in practice, define for your players what is a good shot and what is a bad shot.

What is a Good shot?
1. The shot must be expected by your teammates.

2. The shot must be able to be rebounded by two of your teammates.

3. The shot must be able to let our defense have a chance to get back in transition after it is taken.

4. The shot must be a high percentage shot for the shooter taking the shot.

5. The shot is dictated by time, score, and situation.

Let's look at the last one, #5 above.  Taking a 3-point shot early in a possession, late in the game, when you have the lead... is a poor shot, even if it goes in.  It would be better to run some time off the clock, get a high-percentage shot or get to the free-throw line.  In this situation, most successful teams will either get the ball inside to their best post player, or have their star perimeter player attack his defender off the dribble.  Get inside or get to the line!

The 3-point shot is an important part of the game.  But shooting a 3 every trip is not high percentage basketball.  A 3-point shot taken with a defender flying out at the shooter is not a good shot (a shot fake and drive would be better here).  It's not a good shot for a player who can't make at least 35% from the arc.  So when is a 3-point shot a good shot?

It's a good shot when your best shooters get a wide-open look... or when a guard dribble-drives and then kicks the ball outside for a wide-open shot... or on a skip-pass where the shooter is wide-open.  A 3-point shot in transition can be a good shot as well, unless we have a slim lead late in the game (as discussed above).

Forced shots inside are not good shots either.  How often I see younger post players get an offensive rebound, only to throw it back up, contested, or off-balance and not squared up to the hoop... it's like the player thinks, "I got the rebound so I get to shoot it again."  If the put-back shot is not open, a much better play would be to kick it outside to a perimeter player, who may be wide-open for a 3-point shot, or at least re-start the offense and, if you are leading, run some more time off the clock.

Dribble-drive and dish or kick-out is great offense and difficult to defend.  But dribble-driving into a crowd and forcing up a bad shot is bad basketball.

Passing up a good, open shot is not desirable either, unless you are trying to run time off the clock.  Sometimes a player will pass up a good shot, and then a bad pass or turnover occurs, and we get no shot at all.

Every possession is important.  Strive to get a good shot each time.

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Till next time...
Best wishes,
Dr. Jim Gels, aka "Coach Gels"
The Coach's Clipboard
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