It's one of the most underrated plays in all of basketball, so I like to feature plays that involve a player taking a charge. It seems simple, but the reality is that it does take a certain kind of player to want to take a charge. I'm not talking about the instances where the player just happens to be in the lane and the offensive player runs through him. It's those charges where a defender, sees an offensive player with their head down going to the net and the defensive player makes a conscious decision to hustle to the spot and beat the offensive player there, plant their feet, take the hit, and fall to the ground. That is what Ronnie Brewer does in this play in the Jazz's game last night against the T-Wolves, take a look,

When Rashad McCants of the T-Wolves made the pump fake, his defender reacted and he only had 1 thought, to attack the rim. When you play teams that are aggressive on the dribble, one of the most effective ways to take them out of their rhythm is to take a charge. Now, the ref may not call of them as charges, but even if your players are called for the block, it's a good foul. You've stopped them from getting into the lane, and you've let the other team know that you won't just let them attack at will, there will be consequences. Here is a screenshot from Brewer's taking the hard charge,

Notice that Brewer does a defensive slide to get to the spot. This is better than crossing the feet or running because your feet will get set a lot quicker and thus get the call from the ref.

Unfortunately, the Jazz would go on to lose the game, but it's plays from players like this that help you win ball games, especially the close ones in the playoffs.

A great DVD that breaks down the M2M fundamentals is Tom Izzo's Rebounding and Defensive Drills DVD. Tom Izzo is the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans. Head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to get all of your hoops fill.