Took in some Vegas NBA Summer league action yesterday between the Portland Trailblazers and the Sacramento Kings. I was hoping to see if Greg Oden would be playing, but I guess he's still rehabing his knee. I was really impressed by the speed of the Kings' young guards.

Specifically, Sean Singletary and Quincy Douby; those guys are quick. I love playing fast, when I was playing ball, I wasn't tall so I made it up with my quickness. I love watching guys like Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Leandro Barbosa; they can create havoc just by being quick. Take a look,

Quickness on Offense:

When you're quick on offense, it allows you to do what the Kings did in that last play. Go the length of the floor off a made basket and score in 5 seconds. In fact, we used to practice that as a drill sometimes, to see who could score the fastest on like a 3v2 full-court.

In this first sequence, Quincy Douby takes advantage of a slower Jerryd Bayless playing too tight. Bayless is quick in his own right, but not quick enough to be checking Douby that tight. Douby does 1 jab fake, then he looks like he's doing another jab fake in the same direction, but it's really his first explosive step,

Quickness of Defense:

This is just a mismatch here. If you have a small forward being checked by a small quicker guard, you can't think you can out-dribble him. This is just a mistake by the Finnish player Koponen who thinks he can out-dribble a much quicker Sean Singletary who defensive slides and beats his man to every spot. Finally, when Koponen tries to get rid of the ball, he makes a careless pass which is intercepted by Douby for the dunk,


When you have speed in your backcourt, there are so many great things you can do. Drive and dish, 1 man press, etc... Ideally, as team I think you want size and strength in your center and power forward, versatility in your small forward, and speed in your 2 guards. As the old adage goes, speed kills.

For more video info on developing speed in your players, take a look at Mike Krzyzewski's DVD on Agility & Conditioning Drills. You can watch Coach K this summer as he brings Team USA to Beijing looking for Olympic gold. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.