I'm always looking for nuances that help explain things. I like finding patterns and see how to apply them for added advantage. From some notes that I received a little while ago, here are some interesting "truisms" courtesy of Kevin Eastman, the Assistant Coach for the Boston Celtics,

TRUISM # 1: There is a direct correlation between the number of ball reversals and defensive breakdowns.

Our players have to understand that the hardest thing to do defensively is to close out — to be running out at a player from the help position. Having said that, we need to understand that an advantage our offense must look to create is to get the defense to close out as often as possible; we want the ball to be reversed from side to side. With our team I can tell you that our scoring proficiency goes up as the number of passes and ball reversals goes up. Of course we have a shot clock that forces us to shoot the ball quicker, but we still would like a minimum of 3 passes as we then know the ball is getting reversed. When we only throw 1 or 2 passes we find that it is very easy for the defense to load up to the ball

TRUISM # 2: The closer you run your offense to the basket, the more physical your screens can be.

We have found that the officials are more apt to let contact go when it is closer to the basket as they are used to seeing more contact down there as opposed to out by the 3 point line. We feel that is why the flex action is allowed to get away with some physical baseline and pin down screens, and why we have to be careful when setting a back screen out by the 3 point line. So give some thought to having some part of your offensive system where you run your stuff closer to the rim.

TRUISM # 3: The faster the ball moves, the closer the defenders stay to their man.

We have found that when we move the ball a little faster, the defensive players are more concerned with staying up with their man and tend to not jump to the ball and get in help position. We also feel that that leaves us with more room to drive it as the defenders are out of position just enough to allow us to get a good driving angle on them. I would say if you do not have a good scoring post man, you should look to move the ball a little faster at times and create driving opportunities. If you do have a good post man you would want to slow it down and give the post man a good look.

If you like any of Coach Eastman's stuff, or you just like the Celtics, then check out Kevin Eastman's DVD on Skill Development for Inside and Perimeter Players.