Coach's Clipboard Newsletter #105
March 1, 2017
Placeholder Image

View in browser
Go to Archive Index

Dear Coaches, Players, Friends,

Today's Quote:

I don't think there is anything more important to effective play on the basketball court at either end of the floor than spacing." - Bob Knight

Today's Theme - Getting Open, Movement and Spacing

Spacing   See Spacing and Movement
All good offenses have good spacing and movement. Except when screening or cutting around a teammate, perimeter players should space out about 12 to 15 feet apart. Poor spacing results in bad passes, getting double-teamed, turnovers, and poor opportunities for scoring. You must maintain good spacing from the ball and fill the open spots of the court. 

Perimeter players should space out above the 3-point arc. If you are inside the arc for no particular reason, you are most likely "clogging" things up for your teammates, and you are making it easier for the defense to defend you.

Effect of good spacing on the defense
By spacing out, the defender has to cover more territory and will have a harder time with giving help and then recovering back to his/her man.
 - 1. Spacing makes it harder to defend dribble-penetration as the help defenders have further distance to cover when coming off their man.
 - 2. Consequently, spacing makes it harder to defend perimeter shooters, as the helpside defender in the paint has more distance to get back out to the shooter, if the pass goes there.
 - 3. Spacing also makes it harder to defend post players. Teams that double-team the low post will have a more difficult time when players are spaced apart. Good spacing also allows for hi-lo passing from one post player to another, when the perimeter players are spaced out on the arc, and their is no helpside defense.
 - 4. Spacing makes it harder to defend cutters.
 - 5. Spacing makes it harder to deny the passing lanes.


Players should not stand still, waiting for the ball to find them.  Make good hard cuts.  Learn how to change speeds.  Learn how to use pass fakes and shot fakes.  See "Cutting and Faking".

Perimeter players and Movement
Four things a perimeter player can do after making a pass:
 - 1. Cut to the basket (example: give and go, or back-cut). Backcut if the defender is denying the pass.
 - 2. V-cut and pop back outside for the return pass and outside shot.
 - 3. Screen for the ball.
 - 4. Screen-away or screen-down.

Things a perimeter player can do when he/she doesn't have the ball:
 - 1. If you have an under-play (defense sagging off), pop out to spread the defense.
 - 2. If you have an overplay (being denied), back-cut through to the hoop and then fill outside.
 - 3. Someone dribbling at you, backcut inside, or run a simple weave-screen.
 - 4. Fill the open spot when a teammate cuts inside.
 - 5. When someone dribble-penetrates, relocate.
 - 6. Screen away, and pop out.
 - 7. The most important rule is to keep moving.
 - 8. After cutting, don't get stuck inside or on the baseline... get out!

Post players and Movement
 - 1. Post-up... try to get open for the pass inside.  See "Post Moves".
 - 2. If you can't get open, screen for the opposite post player.
 - 3. If you can't get open, set a ball-screen and run the pick and roll.
 - 4. If you are playing with two post players, work with your opposite post player. Screen for each other. Play "hi-lo", one at the high post and one inside, moving and rotating in these spots as the ball moves. 
 - 5. React correctly to dribble-penetration... I-cut on the baseline dribble; go short corner on the dribble from the top.

Screening   See Screening
Coaches often assume that players know how to screen and use screens.  But like any fundamental, they must be taught how to correctly set and use screens.  The screener must be taught how to seal and move after the screen, because when this is done correctly it is often the screener who gets open. Ball-screens, back-screens, down-screens, flare-screens, etc... get good at all of them and the defense will have problems defending you.

Coach's Clipboard All-Access Premium Membership - join today!

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

All Coach's Clipboard materials are under US copyright, 2017, James A. Gels
Click here to unsubscribe (include your username in the email).
Email your comments or suggestions.