Dribble At: Description

This entry is part 18 of 24 in the series Dribbling Actions

Dribble-At may be one of the more underrated layers of the offense. It completes the basic dribbling layers of the offense.  Its description is quite simple.  When a perimeter player with the ball dribbles toward another perimeter player in a non-attacking manner, the player cuts backdoor and the other players fill the empty spots.  “Non-attacking” basically means that the ball handler dribbles outside the 3 point line towards a teammate who is “one spot away.” This action can serve several purposes. In no particular order:

1.  Move the ball from one area on the court to another.
2.  Pressure release.
3.  Generate off ball movement.
4.  Enter offense.

This layer is a great way for the offense to be initiated or to get the ball in a specific location. Let’s say your point guard has the ball at the top of the key and you want to get your ball to the post player.  You don’t trust your wing to make a good entry pass.  The point guard can just dribble to the wing.  The wing player cuts back door and now it’s a two man game between your point guard and post player.  it’s really that simple.

It also works as a great pressure release action.  This pressure release action introduces the concept of the “Read Line,” which will be discussed in more detail when we talk about Passing Actions. The “Read Line” is the collegiate three point line.  A player cuts backdoor as their defender steps over the “Read Line.” If the ball handler sees that a teammate is being overplayed, but the teammate does not recognize it, the ball handler can dribble at their teammate as a reminder to cut back door.  This “Read Line” reaction will not be drilled until later, but the Dribble-At and “Read Line” are closely related.

The Dribble-At also creates instant movement in the offense without a pass having to be made. Dribble-At can isolate a player in the post or on the perimeter for scoring opportunities. A simple Dribble-At can set all 5 players in motion.

Dribble-At can also be used to enter offense. As long as offensive players keep their dribble alive, teams can start their offense with a Dribble-At.

As other layers are introduced, the Dribble-At can be used to set up other scoring opportunities.  Once cutters and post players are given more options, the Dribble-At can be used to draw the defense’s attention to one area of the court, while setting up scoring opportunities for players in another area. It also sets up opportunities for a variety of on ball and off ball screens as well as post up opportunities. These opportunities will be covered later as other layers are introduced and when the combination of layers is discussed.

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