Thursday, September 2, 2010

Xing Li Coaches Basketball: Floor Spacing

Ok, I'm going to clear some things up. I am not a basketball coach. I am not qualified to play on even a high school basketball team. But I do know how to play basketball. I've watched enough basketball to know what works, even if I'm unable to replicate it. And for you pro's, no, this stuff isn't genius-level, it's mainly for beginning/pickup ball players that want simple things they can work on to get better, immediately.

So I was playing a pickup game the other day, a regular series we have with guys from the apartments where I live. There was one stacked team of close friends (you know what I'm talking about, guys that know where their teammates will be at all times), and my team would do well just to stay close.

But one thing I was consistently struggling with was with spacing. Every time I brought the ball up (I play PG/SG), we had three guys in the lane. Now, in their fairness, they were all in the lane for a reason, namely they're bigger guys who can't really shoot. So they know their limitations (which is huge), and they play where they can be effective.

Problem is, when you have three guys in the lane, you decrease the effectiveness of everyone else on the court. You make it almost impossible to drive and enable the defense to cover three guys with two, letting them double everyone else. I will write more on correct spacing in future issues, but today, we'll start off with this: there should never be more than 2 offensive players in or within one foot of the painted area. If you're one of those guys, even if you can't shoot or make good basketball moves away from the basket, moving out of they key is still the best option for your team.

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