Nitty-Gritty Basketball
A More General Fundamental Note

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A More General Fundamental Note
by Sidney Goldstein Copyright © 2001

This is a more general "Fundamental Note" that summarizes problems that I regularly notice along with causes and solutions.
Problems that I regularly see:
1. Inconsistent play:
comes from too much scrimmaging in practice and not enough work on specific skills.

2. Lack or rebounding on the offensive boards:
mainly due to lack of offensive coordination, not lack of rebounding ability. Too often I see zero players going for the boards when the shot goes up. Players need to have a sense what is going on with their team and what position they need to be in every second on the court. Coaches must make sure, in practice, that at least 2 are in offensive rebounding position on every play.

3. Poor person to person defense:
due to poor defensive position and lack of practice of defensive movement.
Defensive position, a position to run and win a 2 step race, involves being on the balls of the foot, knees bent, back only slightly bent. Defensive movement involves coordinating two types of movement- jump steps and running while maintaining defensive position; players never want to slide their feet on defense.

4. Poor foul shooting; lack of ability to dribble properly; lack of passing ability; lack of boxing out; offense not coming to the ball and so on:
due to lack of practice of technique.
No matter how talented, each player needs to practice basics. Many coaches laugh at fundamentals at the expense of the team, each player, and even their job. With a little enlightenment, sensible practices, coaches could work what they would consider miracles. See my entire book for the solution.

5. Poor offensive coordination:
due to zero practice faking, cutting, looking, and communicating.
The solution is simple: work directly on these skills. Looking is the most important. Hopefully I'll talk about this more in another article. For now, here is a simple description.
Players with the ball must timely look for players open under the basket and then the periphery. Players without the ball must look to time a cut to an open position.

Game situations that regularly occur:
Teams trying to score from the 3-point line without an inside game, nor players in rebounding position under the offensive boards. They hit a few shots at the outset to take a lead; you only need to observe what's going on underneath to understand they will soon fall apart.

Recently, 2001 NCAA finals, Arizona made the fatal mistake of not going to their 7"1" center in the 2nd half against Duke.

Watch any pro game: chances are that when one team makes a run at the other, that the other is not going for offensive rebounds.

Zillions of games that I watch at every level, where the underdog takes the lead being hot at the onset, only too cool off and have no chance.

I never heard of a team losing because they emphasized rebounding, whereas it is commonplace for teams at the college and pro levels to lose because of poor 3-point shooting.

ll The Nitty-Gritty Basketball™ Series
by Sidney Goldstein
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