I watched a couple of NBA preseason games last night but I was really impressed by the New Jersey Nets against the Miami Heat last night. If I were to look at the turnaround team of the year next year, I'd take a hard look at the Nets. The new players they have, and the new system of dribble drive handoff, I think Coach Frank could be onto something here.

More specifically on the dribble drive handoff of the Nets. I've read recently how they've been running blood drills in practice so it's not surprising that they are running some form of dribble drive. But in the Nets version, they use a lot of dribble handoffs. So instead of just drive and kick, they are dribbling to a man to handoff which they can either:

1. Shoot the jumper off the handoff screen
2. Drive to the basket
3. Drive to another handoff

Watch how they execute it,

Dribble Handoff:

They usually setup in a 4-out 1-in with the forward on the weak-side block, your typical dribble drive setup in other words.

The dribbler initiates the action by dribbling towards one of the corner/wing players. The corner/wing comes at the dribbler and they execute the handoff,

If they run another iteration, they will reverse the direction of the flow and go towards the backside. Also notice how the one forward is now behind the basket looking to see which way the action is so that he can pick which way to go so that he and his defender is out of the way in case the dribbler attacks the net,

Dribble Drive:

The first option should be the drive as it is a higher percentage play than the shot. Here, the ball is reversed again this time to Devin Harris who will drive to the rim and shoot a mid-range pull-up jumper,

Handoff 3-pointer:

If the handoff goes to a sharpshooter, he should shoot. Watch how Yi Jianlian screens that area after the handoff giving just enough space and separation for the shooter,


The Nets must have ran this about 70% of the time last night with PNR the rest of the 30% in the halfcourt. They also played a lot of full-court M2M defense. I thought they looked very sharp and definitely will be much improved heading into the regular season. I expect them to probably be in the top 8 for sure when May rolls around.

For more great dribble drive video info from the originator himself, take a look at Vance Walberg's 2-DVD Set on the Dribble Drive Motion Offense. Coach Walberg is an assistant at UMass. 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.