Well, the new blog format is up. Hope you all like it. I've been working hard the past couple of weeks on it to make it look just right. I also want to take this opportunity to thank my sponsors Better Basketball and CREZ Software for their continued support.

It was the very hyped matchup between the Celtics and the Hawks tonight. The rejuvenated Hawks came in winning the last 2 games and brought a "swagger" as Kenny Smith calls it into game 5. Basically, what happened tonight was the Celtics shot lights out and the Hawks could never catch up. Sharp-shooting guard Ray Allen led the way with 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Watch these plays here that didn't start out designed for Ray but because Ray is so good at getting to the open spot, his teammates can find him,

It's all about line of sight. I've known some guys that were great perimeter shooters, but they could never get good shots off in games. Not only is it important to be able to shoot, but the ability to get open and within what we call, line of sight, between the ball and your hands. A lot of those guys that are great shooters but hardly score in games are usually stationary and you see them waving their hands saying they're open. But the passer can't get the ball to that person because there is no line of sight. Usually what happens then is they try to skip it, but because of the extended time it takes for the ball to reach the weak-side, the defense has recovered.

Watch here as Ray drags the 3-point arc to get within that line of sight. Also notice that since the defense is in a 2-3 matchup zone, which makes it easy for Ray to drag and drift away because the defense is reacting to the ball and not the man,

It all sounds like common sense, but it takes a lot of playing experience to know these little things like moving into a line of sight. Most players that just play by themselves or 1v1 don't pick up on the subtleties of team basketball, that's why I do feel it's important to get as much team game experience as possible such as playing year round if possible.


I'm a huge fan of the fundamentals of shooting. Yesterday I posted about Billups and his hot-shooting and today with Ray Allen. As a coach, I don't think there's ever such a thing as too much shooting practice, the more the better. Everything is easier when you have guys that can make shots. Show me a great team, and I'll show you 1 or more great shooters. It really is the great talent equalizer, because all it takes is constant practice. As a player, you don't have to be ultra-athletic, have god-given talent, or even brains, just hours and hours of reps.

Look for a shooting video? A newer shooting video you might want to consider is Steve Smith's DVD on team shooting. Coach Smith is the head coach of Oak Hill Academy, the prep school powerhouse featuring famous alum such as Jerry Stackhouse and Carmelo Anthony. 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.