I use the backboard for reverse layups and bank shots. It takes some of the force off of the ball; it slows the ball and gives it more of a chance to roll in. I like using the glass myself. Opponents are scared by good defence. Make them change their shots. Make them think twice before challenging you. When you block a shot, try to keep the ball in-bounds so that your team is able to score off your defensive effort.
Blocking a shot is as thrilling as dunking. Defence is about desire. You have to want to play defence. And you have to work at it. If you watch the defender's eyes, you'll go for fakes. Watch the defender's waist to see where he really intends to go. Know your opponent's strengths and weaknesses. That is the most important thing. The best defenders have focus. So you have to focus on your man and what your responsibility is. You have to be a smart player to be a good defender. And you have to want to stop your opponent.
Toronto Raptors forward Jerome Williams, who averaged 5. Jerome Williams advises defenders to focus on the player, not the basketball. I was a hustle player. That's the sort of thing coaches love because it ties up so many loose ends.
On the defensive end, getting in the passing lanes is important because you may get your hands on the ball and make steals. It also helps the overall team defensive scheme because the offence cannot do what they want to do. They can't swing the ball or reverse the basketball, which makes it hard for them to get into their offence.
The offensive team must spread out further away from the basket and often gets frazzled. One thing I always try to stress is that you should play defence the way you hate to be played. If you can't stand having a hand in your face, put your hand in the offensive player's face. You know it's irritating!
You know it's blocking the line of vision and making it harder to pass. If you hate to be bodied up, body up.
That's the best way to play defence. Anticipation is a big, big part of defence. A lot of that comes from understanding the game of basketball and how it works.
If you can anticipate the next pass, you can cheat off your man a little bit so the passer thinks the pass is there and then grab it. Know you're going to make it. The problem with a lot of players is they are thinking so much about the fundamentals of the shot that they are not confident that they will make the shot.
With a free throw, you should be telling the ball there is nowhere to go but in the hoop. Then it will go in. A hook shot is always good because it's an unblockable shot if done properly. It's just a matter of if you make the shot or not. The percentages should be in your favour because there is no reason why a defender should be able to get his hand on your shot. This is a shot more players should develop. You have to have the ability to score around the rim.
It's important to use your body to protect the ball. You shoulders are perpendicular to the defender rather than facing the defender's shoulders. Aside from God-given talent, I used to work on my timing and my explosiveness. I used to have a bench, about two feet high and eight to nine inches wide. I used to jump over it back and forth for 50 times. We used to do that when I was in high school four to five times a week. In addition to this, I did leg extensions and leg-strengthening exercises.
Stretching when you're tired can improve stamina and strength. The biggest thing is to get low because there is a lot of pushing and shoving in the post. You need a nice low centre of gravity so you can't be pushed off the low block and you can actually make your way to the basket. At this level, if you can get a guy under the basket, most players have the ability to jump up and overpower you to the basket.
I would never stop moving. If the defender can't touch me or cover me, then I've won part of the battle. I would run my defender and never stop moving. I pride myself on not being a selfish player and passing the ball. If the shot wasn't there, I'd give it up. Guarding me, they either had to put a guy that was quick and had leaps like Michael Jordan or a guy that was taller, agile and long like a Kevin McHale. You have to want the basketball. Those three players stand out.
They had a zealous love and worked hard at trying to get everything that came within their reach. No question about it, it's about desire, not size. You should always get your butt down because your legs are stronger than your arms. That's the key to getting good position rebounding offensively and defensively. NBA great Dominique Wilkins, who grabbed offensive boards in his career: Go to the glass when your opponent least expects you to.
I used to shoot the ball at the top of the key and I'd act like I was going to run back on defence, but instead I'd sneak behind the defender. I got a lot of offensive rebounds that way. If you watch the NBA videos, you've seen me dunk those rebounds back while in the air. Rebounding is just about wanting the ball. It all comes down to being aggressive and making an effort to go get the ball. Practice boxing-out with a friend.
After your friend shoots, let the ball bounce on the ground before you grab it. Try to hold off your friend for three bounces. Forward LaPhonso Ellis, who recorded 4. Always assume the shot will miss. The best rebounders always know where the ball is headed. That comes from studying how the ball comes off the rim on every type of shot.
So even on the bench, follow every miss. As soon as the ball goes up, get a body on your man and box him out.
Bend your knees and stick your butt into him. Use your elbows to keep your man behind you. If you need to move to the ball, use the slide step. If you've anticipated well and have position, you'll have a good shot at the ball.
All that's left is timing your jump and grabbing the board. I don't get hung up on how you stand but you have to get there in plenty of time so you don't put yourself in the position of fouling. You have to keep in mind what you're trying to set the screen for, which is either to get someone else an open shot or to create an open shot for yourself. People forget about that. But guys that set good screens have a tendency to create good shot opportunities for themselves.
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