NBN Basketball D-League Week 2
Week 2 of the NBN Basketball Skill Development League had another great turnout. Our players were supported by family and friends and they did not disappoint. There was definitely growth from week 1 to week 2 among the players. The players seemed more relaxed, confident, and ready to play. The players are not were they need to be with their IQ, but I did see flashes of some really good team play. Players were rotating on defense, there was better ball movement, and more unselfish play this week vs last week. In this blog I want to talk about 3 key team concepts the players must learn by the end of the league and before the season starts.
- Spacing and Moving without the Ball - During the first half of the girls game there were a few possessions where the ball stayed on the right side of the floor. We had players located at the top of the key, the wing, the corner, strong side elbow, and strong side block. Too many times players get bunched up and chase the ball. They have to understand that the ball will find you as you continue to cut and screen. Having good spacing does a couple things for the offense: 1. it give the offense gaps in the defense to drive the basketball or cut to open areas 2. on the drive when there is help it creates long closeouts which can cause the defense to scramble. So as the players learn to keep good spacing of 12-15 feet they will see the game will become easier.
- Setting screens - This week during our skill sessions we talked about screening and how to come off screens. This is one area I see the players must vastly improve in. During the skill sessions players would not allow the screen to get set and try to sprint off the screen too early. All players must learn to be patient for the screen and then explode to the open area. Once the players learn this concept they will see how much easier the game can become. Setting good screens can give the offense opportunities for open shots, cuts to the basket, the ability to move the ball from one side of the floor to the other, and create mismatches. As the players get better at screening and coming off screens they will see an increase in their offensive production and efficiency.
- Use of weak hand - Majority of the players in the league are right handed and they fear going to their left. Whenever the ball handler pushed the ball into the front court they always made their first pass to the right side of the court. Once that player received the ball they would drive to the right. It didn't matter how they were being played by the defense, they wanted to go right. What players don't understand is when you can only go one way you handicap yourself. You become one dimensional. If the defender knows you can only go to your right or your left they will sit on your dominant hand and force you in the opposite direction. Dribbling with their weak hand was not the only problem. Players also struggled passing and finishing around the basket with their weak hand. I saw players on the break that had the opportunity to finish with their left hand dribble to the right side so they can shoot the lay up with their right hand. Making the simple push pass or bounce pass with the weak was a struggle for some also.
I told the players after the games that they should not get too high if they played well or too low if they didn't perform as well as they would like. These games are for "development" purposes. I saw players that made some great strides from last week. All I'm asking from all the players is for there to be progress. "Progress over perfection" is what I tell them. I'm not asking for perfection, I'm just wanting progress. If they can show progress from week to week they will be able make a lot of improvement by the time the league is over.