NBA SALARY CONTESTS
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. Return to top of page Shooting Alex English, the Denver Nuggets' all-time leading scorer with 21, points: I tried to shoot the ball as high as I could to keep guys from blocking it, and then releasing the ball from the wrist.
To keep the defence off-balance, I worked on developing a running one-hander which I would shoot going across the middle, because I knew the defender was still down in a defensive stance. I would pick up the ball off the dribble in stride and shoot it.
I would practice that shot. I practiced shooting very high shots over shot-blockers close to the basket.
I would work on altering my shot to counteract the defence. Players have to understand the importance of using their legs and fingertips. The great shooters release the ball the same way every time, I always teach younger players to shoot the ball toward the basket as if they were shooting out of the top of a phone booth. You are reaching up toward the rim. The engine of any shot is in the legs; your fingers are the steering wheel or the fine-control mechanism.
Players have a tendency to move out and take shots from spots they aren't physically able to shoot from. If you do that then you end up practicing bad habits. You don't accomplish anything if all you do is become very good at bad habits. NBA great Jeff Malone, a career 19 points-per-game scorer: I did a drill in high school that I started with my coach, Don Richardson, where I'd shoot the ball off the glass 10 on one side, 10 on the other.
I started right in front of the trim, and then worked my way out. I worked on the extension of the arm, the flick of the wrist after the ball leaves the hand and I exaggerated that motion.
I used this throughout my pro career for 20 to 30 minutes a day. My fall-away J came because Kevin McHale and Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics were jumping out to block my shot, so I started to lean back when I shot to create more space between me and the defender.
The more I shot it, the more confident I became playing the game. New Orleans Hornets forward Jamal Mashburn, who notched I had a chance to go to basketball camps and had good coaching, so I had people showing me the right way to shoot a basketball.
He understood what to do and how to do it. And growing up, I basically watched others to see what they were doing. And practice does make perfect it you're using the proper form.
Mark Price, former All-Star guard: You must first learn proper form, so that practice time is productive. You can spend several hours a day practicing, but working on the wrong things is a waste of time. Preparing to shoot the ball starts even before a player gets the ball.
You must work to get to open spots on the floor where you know you can shoot. A player must have his feet in proper position even before receiving the pass. Good shooting mechanics are the key.
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