It is pretty late tonight and I'll admit that I'm a little weary and disappointed now that the Phoenix Suns have been officially eliminated so I'm not really up for much analysis tonight. I've followed Steve Nash and watched him play for most of my life and it is difficult to watch another year go by, another opportunity gone by the wayside. I still have hope, but time is not on Steve's side.

I recorded the Pistons game earlier in the day and took a few clips of some early offense ball-screens between Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups which Billups used to shoot several uncontested shots,

Now, conventional wisdom has it that quick shots are a bad thing. I generally agree with that assertion, except that the most open shots usually are off the fast break or early offense. From looking at the clip, you can see that Andre Miller does not even get a hand up to challenge the shot, all 4 times,

I think it's still debatable whether an early offense quick long shot like the ones Billups was taking is good strategy. Obviously since Billups was making them, it was good tonight. But I think as a coach, you really have to be careful with it, if you've run it a couple of times and the shots aren't going in, I think switching back to running through several iterations of the offense by moving the ball side to side is still the best way to get a good variety of shots.

These sequences also have me thinking about a discussion between some coaches at the Coaches Forum about defensive stance and defending ball screens. My take away here is that communication is critical in defending ball-screens. Between Miller and Dalembert, you can see there is very little communication, hence Billups can free himself easily for the open shot.


The Pistons are obviously the more talented team. The problem that they haven't yet learned is that they can't turn it on and off, they have to play this way every single game. There is a saying that I like to tell my players, "Every game you play is the most important game of your life." (cliche but it's true).

Looking for some ideas for shooting drills to use in practice, take a look at Jay Wright's DVD on his 28 Competitive Shooting Drills. Coach Wright is currently the head coach at Villanova. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.