I was channel surfing today with the break in between the NBA Conference Playoffs and the Finals and caught the end of this playoff game in the German Basketball Bundesliga Playoffs between Alba Berlin and EWE Baskets Oldenburg (yes, I'm a true basketball nerd).

It was the 4th quarter, EWE was up by about 3-points in the last minute. As predicted, Alba fouled to put EWE on the line for free-throws. One of the things I noticed was how Ruben Boumtje Boumtje (#44 of EWE) used a perpendicular stance and a positional advantage of the trapezoid key to get by his guy twice and grab the offensive rebounds. Take a look,

Lineup Position:

Because of the trapezoid key, the offensive player has the advantage of being in a more direct line of sight to the middle of the basket. Look how Ruben has positioned himself as well, perpendicular to the lane,

From this diagram, you can clearly see, that in the trapezoid key, the offensive player has a much shorter distance to the middle. With all things being equal given size and ability, O5 should be able to get in front of the basket easier than X5, especially since X5 also has the extra responsibility of trying to box out O5,


Definitely something to think about when playing international rules. The chance of an offensive rebound from a FT miss I'm guessing is much more prevalent than in the rectangular key in NA. Also, the stance that Ruben is using (might be illegal in NA), also gives him an advantage in going side-to-side and getting to the ball.

If you're looking for more ideas to get your players to become better rebounders, I recommend taking a look at Tom Izzo's DVD on Rebounding and Man Defense. Coach Izzo is the long-time head coach of Michigan State. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.