I was reading some notes the other day and one of the things that I read from Kevin Eastman was his 'must-dos' for offensive skill development.
1. Hard Dribble. Eastman states that, "If we know you have a soft dribble we trap you on the dribble). You should add some sort of pound dribble to your list of ball-handling drills to hammer this point home.
2. Get your shoulders to the defenders hips on dribble penetration. This is the attack position which allows you to turn the corner and beat the defender. Once you are able to turn the corner, the defender is most vulnerable and must speed step to recover or help.
3. Keep the ball high. This is especially the case for posts. There are so many reasons why you must keep the ball above your shoulders. This is one of the most common mistakes you see in forwards, is that they bring the ball down and when they come back up, they've lost the ball.
4. Be ready on the catch. This is otherwise known as the triple threat. Whether or not you receive in a jump stop or 1 step pivot. Players should receive the ball in the hands chest high and be ready to make a move once they get the ball. When coaches and players talk about the speed of the game, it's often in reference to this. Every level you go up, defenses react quicker, so offensively, players must also be quicker. Be ready to make a move on the catch, not after.
There was actually a fifth must-do, but the notes did not capture it, but nevertheless, these four are big ones to emphasize.
I watch a lot of live basketball and I always watch players in warmup. When you watch a lot of basketball, you eventually find that it's easy to tell the good teams from the bad teams without knowing a single thing about either team. Just watch how they do the little things. Like the guards when they penetrate, do they attack the defender's hips or do they do a wide arc. Do the forwards keep the ball high or are they all over the place with the ball. When they catch the ball, do they look like they will do something with it.
For some more position specific skills that will help you with your players, take a look at Coach Kevin Eastman's DVD on quality skill development. As always, you can discuss this and many more coaching topics at the X's and O's of Basketball forum.