The following is an excerpt from Dick Devenzio’s book, Stuff Good Players Need to Know.

In this chapter, Dick talks about the strategy of the defense at the end of the game and what the offense should do to counter it. The defense is pressuring the perimeter players and trying to steal passes. But I find that this is what defensive teams do ALL of the time, not just when they’re behind at the end of the game. So, listen to what Dick has to say in this chapter:

Because the defense will be going for the ball, you need to alter the way you expect to receive it. If you can’t get the ball moving toward it on the run, it is better to go backdoor and allow a teammate to replace you, toward the ball and on the run.

Does this sound like the action of Read & React’s Layer 1: Pass & Cut? You better believe it. This action in the Read & React is an all-of-the-time thing and not just when you’re ahead at the end of the game. Let’s review the Pass & Cut rules of the Read & React:

  1. If you are one pass away from the ball and your defender is over the Read Line, then you MUST basket cut. This vacates a spot that a teammate must fill and therefore will be moving toward the ball on the run.
  2. If a spot between you and ball is open, then you must fill it (moving toward the ball on the run).
  3. If when filling an open spot, your defender crosses the Read Line, then you must basket cut. This basket cut instantly initiates action from another teammate who must fill the spot that you vacated.

In this manner, someone is always threatening the basket if the defense is denying perimeter passes. At the same time, someone is always “shortening the pass” or “moving toward the ball on the run.”

Devenzio also points out in this chapter: “It is better to dribble decisively and go someplace…”; and, “You want to be the attacker, not the one who is being attacked.” If only Dick had the Read & React when he was around, or better yet, if only he were still here!

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