LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes by Dave Severns

Written by Coach Peterman

I have coached at the NCAA Division 2 (Southwestern Oklahoma State University), NAIA (USAO), and JUCO Levels (Blinn College and Carl Albert State College) as well as high school. I just felt that fellow coaches especially young coaches need to constantly work on their “game”. Just like the basketball players that we coach. We as coaches need to improve ourselves. That is my story and why I do this blog.

September 28, 2015

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes by Dave Severns

Dave Severns
Assistant Coach
LA Clippers

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Transition Defense
Myke Scholl (

Big Picture:
Offensive goals are to score easy baskets and take high percentage shots.
Defensive goals are to force hard shots and to defend the rim.
Offensive teams score most easily in transition

The Rules of Transition Defense:
Stop the offense for two passes.
1. Point guard gets back and defends the paint first
• He must fight the running big for 3 seconds until the 5 can get back to help him
• IF the ball gets thrown inside, the guards objectives are to get a STEAL or a CHARGE
2. The 2nd guard is responsible for picking the ball up at half court
• He must establish a ball side/help side by getting the ball out of the middle of the floor
• The weak side big runs to the “trail spot” or the “loaded spot”
*The weak side wing MUST block out when the shot goes up.

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Here is a drill to practice with:
Next, you have to distinguish the differences between your preseason philosophy and game

• Each team will have different personal
• You may need to emphasize guarding the 3 pt. line in transition
• When in doubt, stunt at the non-shooter and get to the shooter!
• You may need to emphasize containment on dribble penetration
*If you can get two guys back, TANDOM
*If you can get three guys back, TRIANGLE

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

False Motion Offense
Harvey Kitani

Main Concepts:
Pete Newell
What are major concepts that we establish in our false motion offense?
It “restores order”
Creates rhythm offensively
Sets up quick hitters
Everyone touches the ball
Great for one on one players because of great floor spacing
It is time consuming
Pulls big defenders out on the perimeter
It creates drives that cause fouls
It works against man and zone

It is great for player development
• It forces players to make quick decisions
• It allows for players to rely on their instincts

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Rules and Themes:
1. Cut hard to the rim on guard to guard pass
2. Fill the spot of the passer
3. Catch the ball tighter to the three point line- this will put pressure on the defense to respect
the back door cut
4. A bad ball handler should always cut back door (and could post)
“In summary, the importance is not this particular movement, ‘false motion,’ but the concept and
the reasons for it. Successful coaches are coaches who have responses to changing situations
and should always strive to be able to counter the moves of opposing coaches.” – Pete Newell
Defense (High Pick & Roll)

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Lawrence Frank
The Big Picture:
What is your defensive philosophy?
Here is what the Clippers emphasize:
1. Force a contested 2 pt. shot
2. Take away the rim and the 3 pt. shot
In today’s game, you must adapt to analytical figures at some level:
2 pt. shot outside the paint = 39%
2 pt. shot from 3-15 feet = 43%
Corner 3 = 38%
3 pt. shot above the break = 34 % (eFG% = 54%)
Great players beat the math. I.e. Chris Paul makes 55% of his pull-up jump shots when going to
his right.

We have 5 defensive MUSTS:
1. Sprint back and set your defense
2. Shrink the floor and the protect the paint
3. Close out hard and contest the shot
4. Help the defense by eliminating needless fouls
5. Block out and gang rebound. Rebound as a team.

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

There are 10 things that you can control as a player or coach:
1. Talk. You control what you say and how loud you say it.
2. Energy and effort
3. Preparation
4. Be an expert in/on your own system
5. Knowing the gameplay. (No gameplay mistakes)
6. Attention to detail
7. Sprinting back on defense. (Its on the coach if teams do not do this.)
8. Positioning on/off the ball. (You control/dictate what you give up.)
9. Hand activity
10. Schemes (Pick & Roll Schemes)

“If you can’t talk it, you can’t do it.”
“ELC” (Early, Loud, Continuous)
Say it 3 times. By doing so, you allow your defensive to:
1. Be organized
2. Build trust
3. Get a head start. (Allow guys on and off the ball to anticipate.)

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

On defense, your “bigs” are:
1. Your battlefield commanders
2. Rim protectors
The best defensive players are able to identify the top 8 plays that the other team runs. They do
their homework off the court. I.e. Peyton Manning. He studies the 1st & 10 coverages on
Monday, the 2nd & 10 coverages on Tuesday, 3rd down coverages Wednesday, etc.
1. Trust the talk
2. Trust the coverage

“The more a player is thinking, the less a player is relying on his instincts.”

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Pick and Roll Coverage:
In an NBA game, on average, there are 94 possessions… 74 of them will have a P&R action
in them.
Therefore, your Pick and Roll defense will have a direct impact on how good of a defensive team you
will be.
Your Pick and rolldefense must fit with your big picture defensive philosophy.
You must be able to execute multiple defensive coverages at this level.
There are 4 parts to P&R defense:
A. Coverage = of 2 guys on the ball
B. Protection = 3 guys in a TRIANGLE
C. Passes made off the screen lead to either recovery or rotation.
D. Pursual = “Pursue in the direction of the ball.”

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

1. Blitz
You blitz when you don’t want the ball-handler shooting it. You want it out of his hands.
• Aggressive
• When the guard with the ball retreats, the ‘big’ gets out of the blitz
• Two guys trap while the back three are in a triangle
• Always designate the low man. (Automatically 4 or 5 when in doubt. “Low-man awareness” –
the 1st pass receiver cannot be the one getting the shot.)
• High hands
• 4’s and 5’s must work together.
*As the game has progressed, the league does NOT reward aggressive defensive teams. The
best example of this was in the 2014 NBA Finals, when Miami tried to show many aggressive
coverages against San Antonio and failed. Offense in the NBA today neutralizes aggressive

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

2. Show
The defender on the ball must:
• Jam the ball handler when he hears screen is coming
• Get into his hip
• The ball handler cannot drive against! The best players in the world reject 50% of screens.
Rejecting a screen create a 5 on 3 scenario.
• Adjust his feet towards the sideline
• Note- Chris Paul got screened 2800 times in the 2014-2015 season. It doesn’t work at this
level to teach “inside foot, inside hand” when fighting through the screen. By adjusting his
feet towards the sideline, the on-ball defender has the ability to fight over the screen without
absorbing the same impact/contact.
• Pursue and square up the ball
The post defender must:
• Explode out to read out
• Re-route the ball
• Chest to sideline
• “East to west” not “north to south”
Off the ball:
• Form a triangle
• The low man follows the direction of the pass

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

*Blitzing the ball screen creates a ROTATION. Guys on and behind the ball have to ROTATE
and scramble out of the double-team.

Showing the ball screen creates a RECOVERY. The show man recovers back to his man. This
creates less movement for the guys behind the ball.

In the NBA, with so many possessions and so many on-the-ball screens, we want to have more
RECOVERIES and less ROTATIONS. Too many rotations at this level gives too many easy
baskets to an offense and it wears out a defense.

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

3. Soft
• Ball, you, lane-line, basket
• Take away the downhill attack
• Be up to touch at the level of the screen
• Stay in the line of the ball until:
• The guard picks up the ball
• The defensive guard gets square
• He crosses the lane-line

4. Drop
• The roll never gets behind you
• Must be:
• Great on the ball
• Must have a great rim protector

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Off The Ball:
1. The strong side corner is “inching out.”
2. The weak side corner is “pinching in.”
The strong-side corner is thinking about “3 S’s.”
1. Shrink (even)
2. Stunt
3. Stepping up with the shooter

• He cannot get off the 3. “We can’t help you if give up the 3. We can help you if you run the
shooter off the line.”

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

The weak-side corner (the single-side bump):
“The single-side bump is the hardest bump that we have in the game.”
1. Tag early and high
2. Make an impact
3. Rotate head and hips
4. Team closeout
5. He cannot get off the 3. “We can’t help you if give up the 3. We can help you if you run the
shooter off the line.”

*As a team, we over-help and we are too aggressive. As oppose to San Antonio, who gets you
to compromise your position. “Short action” helps neutralize aggressive defensive teams.

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Pressing Defense
Kenny Hoffpauer (

The Big Picture:

Your way of playing better be the best way of playing at your level.
Aim to beat the number 1 team in your league… if you prepare with that in mind everyday, you’ll
prepare for every game you play that year.

It should be fun and fundamental.
Pressing in Texas high school basketball accommodates for the challenges that come with
being in a state that is primarily dominated by football.

• High school football can run deep into basketball season; kids can miss up to 10 games of a
basketball season

• Football players will be athletic; pressing allows them to relate to the things they learn on the
football field
• Pursuit angles
• Being a “dog”
• Playing free safety
• Being aggressive
• Forcing turnovers
Start your program at the 7th grade level. “Your best offense is your pressing defense.”
Establish the fundamentals of your system in a “whole-part-whole” methodology.

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Start every game in “90 read.”
Use the volleyball lines on the court in order to identify what press you are in:
• If the ball is thrown in BELOW the volleyball line, we trap
• If the ball is thrown in ABOVE the volleyball line, we rotate

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes

Pressing is the not the same as Trapping.

Be PATIENT! “The only way to beat patience is with more patience.”

You can win a game in the first quarter… You cannot lose a game in the first quarter.
9 man rotations are important when pressing. You’re 8th and 9th players need to be able to
compete with the 4th and 5th players on opposing teams.

Free safeties in the trap should be thinking about how far they can cheat towards the next
potential pass. Cheat as far as the trap allows you too

Click on the pdf link to download the LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes:

LA Clippers Coaching Clinic Notes by Dave Severns

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