I watched parts of all three of the Christmas games today and thought that for the most part they were all good to watch. I took a clip here of Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat demonstrating the step through technique when 2 defenders are attempting to trap you. He actually did it a bunch of times but I only managed to capture the on clip. I think that if executed well, the step through technique is probably the ideal way to attack the double-team or trap for a couple of reasons. Firstly, most teams don't trap properly anyways, the defenders don't lock their legs making it extremely easy to just go right through it and dribble. Secondly, the step through immediately creates a numbers advantage, after the step through you should find yourself playing 5-on-3 with the 2 defenders going the opposite way. Anyways, watch the video and read my thoughts below,

Various Drills to Attack Traps:

These are a few different drills you can use with your guards to practice attacking traps and double-teams. The first one is the technique shown by Dwyane, splitting the double-team. To make sure the traps are set, you tell your dribbler to not pivot until hearing the whistle. So the inbound pass is made, the dribble stays with back to the play. X1 and X2 trap, coach whistles, then O1 pivots and executes the step-through technique. Coaching points are to teach the dribbler to step through with 1 aggressive step first, then lunge forward protecting the ball like a running-back would. Once through, push dribble ahead.

In this next drill, it's the same thing as above, except now we're going through the crab dribble technique. If you watch Steve Nash, you'll know that he's the master at this. He sees the double-team, then does a quick retreat step or 2, then goes full speed and attacks sometimes doing a cross-over. The change of speed is devastating and usually leaves the defenders way behind. For this drill, you don't have to use a whistle.

Finally, the last technique you can use is the reverse spin dribble. It's a trickier play, but still can be very effective if you have a shorter but very quick guard. So they way it should work for a right-handed guard is one hard dribble with the right hand towards the defense, then a quick reverse spin (clockwise) making sure to push the ball out in front after the spin. You don't need to use a whistle for this one either.

I usually don't emphasize too much the use of these techniques to break traps and double-teams. I think the ball-reversal is a much safer and more effective way to move the ball. But if you have some great ball-handling guards, these are individual skills which they should learn anyways to become better players.

For great video info, I would highly recommend the Better Basketball video on breaking traps. Also you should take a look at Lorenzo Romar's DVD on 10 game relevant ball handling drills. Coach Romar is the head coach at the University of Washington and has helped produced NBA guards such as Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy. As always, be sure to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.