Sometimes I watch a basketball game and I watch players on some teams and they'll throw a pass to a deny-defense wing player. Or they'll force an entry pass into the post when fronted or pinched.

In this simple play, the Sonics guard (I think its Damien Wilkins) looks to get the ball into the post. But when he's fronted, he drives right into the open space and hits the short jumper,

This was the smart play, because you could see that Portland was ready with the weakside defense should Wilkins attempt the lob pass. It's also a great play because the fronting forwards actually create an artificial pick for Wilkins to drive on.

In this screenshot, Wilkins actually looks for the post-entry first, hence the hesitation dribble. Instead of forcing the designed post-entry which will most likely result in a turnover, Wilkins makes the smart improvised play and drives instead,

Notice on the drive that Wilkins' defender gets picked by his own guy by the fronting defender and the Sonics post. Now, Wilkins isn't entirely open because help-side was already coming from the baseline, but he hits the jumper nonetheless,


One of the reasons why I like teaching motion offense to young players is because it teaches players to play basketball by using their skills and making decisions. I liken the concept to teaching in the classroom. It's the equivalent of asking students open-ended questions that challenge them to think, rather than teaching them to the test and memorizing.

As we approach the offseason and shift focus on those individual skills, take a look at Jay Wright's DVD on 28 Competitive Drills for Shooting and Footwork. Coach Wright is the head coach of Villanova. As always, please check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes and ideas.