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New Jersey Nets America’s Play Reverse : Need 3

While the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, Lawrence Frank ran this sideline out of bounds play at the end of a game in a Need 3 situation. Most of us are aware of the box screen the screener (stagger) that is referred to as America’s play because everyone in American runs it. Well this action is a small tweak to the play  in the event the defense tries to switch the 2-3 screen, this forces X2 and X3 to trail in both situations.


Court Vision: The Trained Eyes of a Head Coach (Part 1)

Yesterday while I was reading an article about Jason Kidd’s move to the bench, I thought a point he raised would be the perfect topic to write about: how different a coaches vision is from a players. As a potential future Hall of Fame point guard who spent 18 years in the NBA and winning an NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks IN 2011, Kidd thought his superb floor vision would carry over to coaching seamlessly. However, it didn’t take long for him to realize he needed to widen his vision away from the basketball. Below is an exert from the article I noted above:

…This became clear once Frank had blown the whistle, stopped play and started to remind a player far off the ball, about the proper defensive assignment. And then it happened again and again, and soon Kidd found himself squatting down, wondering if maybe Frank, a 5-foot-5 assistant with no playing pedigree, had a low-level avenue of vision that wasn’t available to the Hall of Fame point guard at 6-foot-4…

Only, it had everything to do with the trained eye of a coach. Standing, sitting, squatting – it didn’t matter – Kidd still couldn’t see everything Frank could see on the floor…

As a player, you could see the floor, but what happened in summer league was the perfect example of how that isn’t enough anymore,” Kidd said. “Here is a pick-and-roll right in front of me, and I think I’m doing the right thing but Lawrence has the vision of seeing everything else – all the things happening on the weak side of the ball…

“That told me right there: You have to widen your screen. Your screen has to see everything that’s developing, because your tendency is to just focus on the players that are involved with the ball.

“You need to be watching all 10, and going through a (mental) checklist answering if they’re doing what you’re teaching offensively and defensively.”

Rewind back to 2004 when I first joined Billy Donovan’s staff and Florida and a very similar thing happened to me. While watching our first few practices before embarking on a foreign trip to the Bahamas (which never happened thanks to a Hurricane…that also never happened), I was amazed at what I was seeing. Every few minutes one of the coaches would stop play and start shouting out corrections to players that were not even involved in a play. That is when I realized I need to start paying attention, I was about to receive my PHD in coaching for the next five years.

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Detroit Pistons Hawk 32

The Detroit Pistons ran this action during the 2012 Orlando Summer League. What I love about this play is that it opens up five different scoring options. Below are the options (In no particular order):

1. 1 gets to the rim to score or mid-range jumper
2. 2 gets a catch & shoot
3. 4 on the curl
4. 5 on the slip to the rim
5. 3 on the roll/pop throwback


If you aren’t familiar with a Hawk Cut, check out my post from last week.

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