One of the ways you can tell if your offense is efficient is by looking at how many combined assists your team accumulates. It's no coincedence that the 2 top FG% teams in the NBA are also the 2 top teams in assists. When you get a lot of assists it means that the ball is moving and players are cutting to the basket or moving to open space. I watched the Utah Jazz today play the Los Angeles Clippers and in just 1 quarter of play, the Jazz had almost as many assists as the Clippers would get the entire game. Here are just a few clips of some great plays of the Jazz in the first quarter,

Most people think that assists has to do mostly with passing, and that would be only partially correct. The most important part of being a good passing team, is moving without the ball and getting open. That is most easily accomplished by cutting to the basket. The Utah Jazz are very "Princeton" like in that they use a lot of backdoor, give and go, and basket cuts, probably more than any other NBA team that I've seen.

Backdoor SLOB Inbounds:

No real secret to this play. They start out in a stack with Ronnie Brewer coming out to what looks like to receive the entry pass.

Ronnie Brewer fakes like he will receive the easy safe pass from Andrei Kirilenko. Deron Williams is the safety and pops out to the top of the key in case the backdoor is defended.

Brewer does a v-cut, but it's more just a quick change of direction. He looks like he's going toward the ball slowly, then cuts hard to the hoop. The defender is late and Kirilenko throws a perfect pass to Brewer for the score.


There are alot of coaches that I talk to that say they want their teams to "play the right way". Meaning cuts to the basket, give and go's, backdoor, screen the screener, they claim to want to play "good offense". But I hardly see them practice the right way. Good fundamental basketball like give and go's, backdoor and basket cuts is less about X's and O's, running set plays, and more about teaching the basic concepts of cutting and practicing that over and over.

For more great interesting SLOB and special situation information, take a look at Hubie Brown's DVD on special situations. Coach Brown is just a brilliant basketball mind and guaranteed you will learn something from his wisdom. 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.