Dribble-At: Offensive Points of Emphasis

This entry is part 19 of 24 in the series Dribbling Actions
Initiator (Attacker/Ball Handler) Reactor (Cutter)
Dribble outside “Read Line” Instant reaction
Keep dribble alive Aggressive movement
Passing with proper hand Proper footwork
Pass at defender’s back foot Straight cut to basket
Look to attack behind cutter Hands ready

INITIATOR (Attacker/Ball Handler)

Dribbling Outside The Read Line
As this habit is being drilled, it’s critical that ball handlers maintain good spacing and stay outside the 3 point line during this action.  Not only is spacing important, it helps the players without the ball make a better read.  If the ball handler is outside the 3 point line, they are cutting backdoor.  If they are inside the 3 point line, they are attacking.

Keep The Dribble Alive
It is also important that the ball handler keep their dribble alive unless they are sure they are going to pass it to a teammate.  When a player dribbles at another player, a driving lane is created that the ball handler can only take advantage of if they keep dribbling. The ball handler may also want to dribble at another teammate.  If they pick up their dribble, neither of these options are available to them.

Passing with Proper Hand
The Dribble At is not meant to get the on-ball defender out of position.  It is meant to force off ball defenders to move and hopefully create scoring opportunities off the ball.  As a result, we must assume that the on-ball defender will be in a good defensive position.  Passing with the proper hand is important to protecting the ball from the defender.  It’s also much quicker to pass with the outside hand.

Passing at Defender’s Back Foot
If the receiver is open, the ball should be delivered to the cutter as early as possible. A good rule of thumb for the passer is to pass the ball at the defender’s back foot.  This will lead the offensive player enough, yet get them the ball early enough to be able to catch it and make a good decision.

Look to Attack Behind the Cutter
This is the first time that the “Draft Drive” has been mentioned. Dribbling-At the cutter creates a driving lane for an instant.  This may be a difficult driving lane to take advantage of depending on the skills and athleticism of the ball handler. However, a driving lane is created and can be exploited.

Reactor (Cutter)

Instant Reaction
The cutter must make an instant reaction to the ball handler. Delays in the reaction result in poor spacing.  They also prevent the offense from taking full advantage of the potential benefits of this layer. Aggressive defenses may try to double team the ball handler if the receiver doesn’t cut quickly and take the defender with them. A quick cut lessens the likelihood that the off ball defender will trap the ball handler in this situation.

Aggressive Movement
As with any other action, the movement of the cutter must aggressive.  They must cut hard and fight through any resistance. They should see this as an opportunity for them to create a scoring opportunity for themselves or someone else.

Proper Footwork
Many players tend to have poor footwork when making cuts. This can be trained, and will make a difference in player’s quickness in their cut.  Eliminating all false movement and having players move directly into their cut is critical in helping players execute this layer more successfully.

Straight Cut to the Basket
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Players who make round cuts will be less likely to be open. An emphasis should be placed on making straight cuts.

Hands Ready
Just as with any other layer, receivers should always have their hands ready. The window to slip a pass to them will be small.  They should always be ready to catch the ball if it comes.

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