Early Pick and Roll Attack

2014 Americas Team Camp Coaching Clinic Notes by Jon Giesbrecht

2014 Americas Team Camp Coaching Clinic Notes by Jon Giesbrecht

Defense with Brett Gunning (Orlando Magic)

• 4 Characteristics of Great Defensive Teams
1. Tough 2. Play hard 3. Accountability 4. Togetherness

• Must think about how you drill toughness

Playing hard
• Think about how to make your team more competitive-What am I doing to make sure my team plays hard-Can’t think your players will just play hard, must practice this.
• Youth coaches must understand their role in teaching their players to play hard.

• When watching film – Based on what we told our guys to do, did they do their job? *Positive – Could be a situation where they did their job, but the other team hit shots… *Negative – Could be a situation where they didn’t do their job, and the other team missed shots
• A good statistic: Based on hundreds/thousands of possessions – what was the percentage when 1 guy didn’t do their job VS when all 5 guys did their job. (Opponent scored 68% of the time when 1 guy didn’t do their job VS 28%)

• Do your guys trust each other? You have to create an environment where “if you go over to cover for you teammate, and the next guy doesn’t cover for you, that guy is out”.
• Great defensive players can guard their man, but they are always looking to help someone else.
• What do your guys do after something goes wrong?

Containing dribble penetration additional tips Brett Gunning and Jama Mahlalela:
• Open space VS crowded space – we want to make the driving lanes appear crowded
• Be a second early in your help rather than a second late – Be early let a guy see a crowd
• Defending corner 3… “1-way stunt” – do not stunt at the ball, on the release of the pass to the corner shooter we are closing out… “2-way stunt” results in being to slow to closeout great shooter
• In terms of defensive rebounding – Coach Dwane Casey says “quick touch” and then go get – feels rebound will be there too quick if you turn and blockout. If you hit first, offensive rebounder usually doesn’t go.

2014 Americas Team Camp Coaching Clinic Notes

Defense with Jama Mahlalela (Toronto Raptors)
Coach Dwane Casey creates a culture for defense.
8 Things we preach to our players from the very beginning:
• Convert – Every assignment that you are given, every after timeout, every baseline out of bounds, every sideline out of bounds. You must convert your defensive assignment, you must do what you are suppose to do.
• Contain – Contain the ball, we are square on the ball (when on the wing) – we do not influence. Point of emphasis – being in our stance. Guarding our yard.
• Contact – We are going to hit you first, you are going to feel our defensive presence first, we are going to hit you when you go through the lane, we are going to hit you anytime we have a chance. We are the aggressors.
• Continue – We are going to continue our defensive coverages throughout the shot clock. We are not going to give up any late clock opportunities. It is about effort.
• Close out – Part of our contain defense, we do not run shooters off the line, we clos out short and use a “late jump” (as he shoots, we jump) – force shooter to shoot contested 3pt shot.
• Contest – “Rear-view contest and multiple contests” It is not enough to contest once, if you get beside him you must contest a second time. If someone is going through the lane, you are also contesting from the back.
• Charge – Point of emphasis, giving incentives for charges, recognizing a charge is a team event.
• Communication –
• It intimidates the offense.
• Call out coverages 3X times.
• Communicate with conviction.
• Talking helps you catch a mistake before it happens.
• Talking gives you a head start on the play.
• Do not be afraid to talk – if you do not know what to say, saying something is better than saying nothing.
• Talking energizes your teammates.

4 Areas that we want to avoid/stay away from:
• Criticism – Believe in our system.
• Complaining – We don’t complain individually or as a team. We are united on the defensive front.
• Confusion – We avoid confusion by the drill work we do in practice and by communicating, by talking, making sure everyone is on the same page.
• Conceding – Most important, we stay with our coverages, we stay with our principles, our philosophy will wear you out over the course of the game.

7 Keys to Transition Defense
• Your transition defense starts the moment when the ball is shot and shot selection.
• We send our 1, 2, and 3 back – doesn’t matter if our 1 has penetrated and taken paint shot, must get back.
• First three steps are the most important steps you take. Most players will step forward at least once before they.
• Declare the ball – Someone must declare the ball so everyone knows. You are not guarding your man.
• Everyone sprints down the middle of the floor towards the paint, we build our help into the middle.
• Protect the basket (stop the ball above the 3pt line).
• As big comes down the floor and guard has gotten their first, big is kicking guards out. We load to the ball side (5 bodies on 1 side).
• Three legal bumps to slow down momentum of rim runner.
• Last man down goes opposite.
• Talk, point, and talk some more.

2014 Americas Team Camp Coaching Clinic Notes

Player Development with Kenny Atkinson (Atlanta Hawks)

• Player development has changed to more a total approach.

5 Areas to Player Development:

1. On-court skill development
• Every year it becomes less and less, where I first got into the league player development was working with a player on the floor, that was it.

2. Athletic Performance
• Works closely with the athletic performance and sport science department

3. Video
• Way under-utilized in the NBA and globally — If Tom Brady is watching 19 hours of film a week, I can sit down for 20 minutes a day with my guys 1on1 and watch film and I’ve seen huge progress with that.

4. Analytics and statistics
• Gives me more evidence to back up what I am teaching on the floor.

5. Sport Psychology
• I think this is the next big thing. Sport psychologists do a great job at coaching the coaches.

• The #1 thing in an organization is to have a unified plan for player development, for each player. That concerns style of play (do we want him to be a post up guy or a stretch 4, are we pushing down on pick and roll or are we going over top, etc)
• My job as a player development guy is translate the head coach’s message to the players, not my message. Therefore, when a player gets a message it is unified, it’s not Coach A saying one thing, it’s not Coach C saying the other. Great book: The Extra 2 Percent – Unifying their Player Development Program (Tampa Bay Devil Rays)

• Organize consist player development program – When a guy walks through the doors of the gym in the morning, the player knows what basket he is working at, what coach he is working with, etc. Player development is rarely done with two players at a time. When you are working with someone 1on1, the quality of work you can get done, the connection you can have, the trust you can foster is huge.

• Gregg Popovich says it all the time “more is less”. Our player development sessions rarely go longer than half an hour, and with our vets rarely more than 20 minutes. Player development is not always on-court work – sometimes it can be 20 minutes of video clips.

• Observation period with a player… Must get evidence of the weakness (video, stats) and then approach the player with a plan. Don’t be a barbershop coach – immediately addressing a multitude of weaknesses or observations about their game.

• I hate drills. I think they are overrated, I think there is no thought involved. Prefers “simulations or decision making training” – real situations, need to make decisions, and there has to be engagement. Opposed to having no defense (no thought, no reads) – simulate the defense with bodies – not perfect but better than no defense.

• When I watch video – not looking at video through a team perspective, I am looking at how our individuals execute what we want to do. What does the head coach want, how can I make him better do it better. Best advice I ever got: Translate what the head coach wants to your players that’s the player development guy’s job.

2014 Americas Team Camp Coaching Clinic Notes

Half-Court Offense with Jay Triano

• Early offense “1UP” – Wings bounce the baseline, first big rim runs (front of the rim) – Philosophy is we want to bury three players along the baseline, opening up the floor for the other players – If big does not get the ball in early offense, he gets to the strong side.
• We want to get to the point where our early offense becomes a read — 4 Different things we can do: Pass to the corner (wing entry), dribble to the corner (Dribble AT), dribble to the middle (Dribble AT), or we can pass to the middle (reverse pass)
• Real big on changing sides of the floor – as soon as we see the defense is set (cannot throw ball inside), we want to try and change sides of the floor as fast as we can.
• Change sides of the floor by:
1. Drag screen (high ball screen out of transition) — Roll Replace

2. Reversal pass into Flex Cut… Point Guard receives screen away from trail big… On point guard catch, the 4 and 5 stagger away for the first cutter (flex) and then followed by second stagger… Finishes with big-big cross screen.

3. Pass to the Corner – 1 clears through, 5 and 3 fill spots. 1 receives down screen from 3, 3 continues to screen for 4, 3 receives screen from 5.
4. Dribble handoff/Guard Get – After DHO/GG, 4 sets rip screen for 2 (on the pass from 5 to 3)… After this is done, 4 and 5 immediately set stagger for 1. The second screener in the stagger turns into a mid-ball screen for 1.

***Early Offense: All sets are based on getting the Point Guard the ball on the second/third side of the floor.

Important detail when running offense… There is no rule for talking on offense, nothing wrong with telling people what you are going to do on offense. Talk through actions.

2UP (Continuous Side Pick and Roll – Continuity Offense)

• Offense starts with 1 dribbling through 2, 5 then sprints into a wing ball screen. As soon as a big catches the ball, he is instructed to look for their “partner” – the other rolling big. If the big cannot pass to the rolling big, he looks at the cutter signaling that he cuts…
• Counter to Hard Hedge – Slip initial ball screen, set second ball screen with trail big.
• Counter to Ice – On first initial ball screen attack the big, and throw back, look to attack the second side.

Quick Hitter Play: Cross screen for 3 to post up, run 2 off double screen, 5 flares for 4 (Turns into isolation for 4)
Transition Offense with Chris Finch

• At some point you have to pick a philosophy, what do you believe in, how do you want your players to play… Makes it much easier to sell to your players if you have a philosophy. Staying open minded and learning from other people, but avoiding the trap of trying to do everything and losing your identity.
• Looks at the game in 2 parts… You are either on offense or you are on defense. Our offense starts the moment we get the ball, our defense begins the moment we lose the ball – how quickly you want to go in between these components is up to you as a coach.

If you want to be a “running team” must know/do:

1. Tough to be a running team and control the game through a lot of set calls – Must let your team play.
2. Must define shot selection – running up and down and taking bad shots quickly is not the same as letting your team play. Up to you to define what a good shot for you as a team, for a specific player, for your system, for the contents of the game (time and score) i.e. have you gone up and down three or four times without scoring – what’s your threshold as a coach to run, run, run and you come away empty and keep running.
3. Being a running team is not a sometimes thing – being a running team is a commitment you have to make in everything that you do – player development, schemes, practice drills… Being a running team is a habit and it’s a habit that players say they want to do but don’t really want to do. It involves hard work, running hard every single time and not getting the ball.
4. You can’t be a running team that practices in the half court – far better to practice run, run, run, run and then practice patience and composure rather than the other way.
5. Running teams will run after made buckets.

Here are three ways to tell if team is playing hard:

1. Are they guarding – intensity, physicality, disruptive.
2. Do they rebound the ball – both ends – offensive rebounds are about effort, defensive rebounds are about execution. It’s a hustle category.
3. Do they run the floor – defense to offense/offense to defense.

General philosophy: Running creates easy shots, the game has become so hard to get easy shots- defenses have become so smart, 24 seconds makes it difficult – we counter this by running and playing before the defense gets set.

More transition opportunities are lost not because of great defensive plays, but because of poor offensive spacing.

Never clear the board/throw long pass when in bounding on the baseline… Much quicker this way – reinforces this habit through shooting work.

2014 Americas Team Camp Coaching Clinic Notes

Drill #1 Tight 3on0 Weave (Finish weave with a lay-up) to 2 Passes to a Lay-up

Drill #2 2on1 Drill – Starts by 3 throwing ball off the glass, 1 then volleys the ball off the glass to 2. After volleying the ball, 3 sprints on defense, 1 sprints to the outlet and 3 rebounds and outlets to 1. After the 2on1 is completed, players jog back on the sides. Progression – Add Chaser (Chaser leaves on the air time of the pass on the outlet) – Progresses to 2on2 there and back. Progresses to 2on1 with chaser to 3on2 (leave defender guarding basket – shooter in 2on1 with chaser becomes defender).


Jon Giesbrecht
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Currently in second year as an assistant coach with the University of Manitoba Men’s Basketball program. In fourth year as head coach of the John Taylor Collegiate Junior Varsity boys team. Head coach and director of Manitoba Basketball Academy. Former 17U Male Provincial assistant coach for team Manitoba. Currently a student at the University of Winnipeg – 3rd Year Education.

Quote: Judge a tree by the fruit it bears, not the fruit it talks about. ~ Les Brown

2014 Americas Team Camp Coaching Clinic Notes

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2014 Americas Team Camp Coaching Clinic Notes by Jon Giesbrecht

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