Jump switching, as opposed to passively changing men, means that you jump out violently on the man with the ball. You don’t wait for him—you go out and get him. A jump switch commonly occurs when a dribbler tries to use a screen. The defender guarding the screener jumps out and takes the dribbler with one very specific objective: He wants to prevent any dribbles in the direction of the screen. In other words, the defender jumps out on the dribbler and either stops him immediately or turns him back in the direction he came from. He does not play passively so that the dribbler can dribble past the screen and continue on. You do not want the ball to continue on, because this allows the screener to roll free to the basket for an easy pass.
From Dick’s book Stuff
Players give all sorts of reasons why they take dribbles when they get the ball close to the basket. They are off-balance, so they need to dribble to keep from walking; their feet aren’t in position to go up strong; they get more power going up in the air when they have to pull the ball off the floor first. Probably you know even more reasons why you do it. And you can recall dozens of players you have seen, even pros, who do it.
Fine. So sometimes you can get away with dribbling inside. Sometimes you can even get away with it against good teams. But most of the time, when you meet a good team, when you need your inside moves the most, you get your inside dribbles stolen by little guards sagging in and helping.
The point is, whether you can get away with it or not, you should
develop a sense of pride in your ability to score inside without having to put the ball on the floor at all. You should learn how to get on balance without need of a dribble, and learn how to go up strong without need of a dribble.
Once you learn these things, then if you get a chance to score where it is obvious that a dribble will make it easier, dribble and score! But if you are an inside man, make sure you learn to score without the dribble first. Too many players have never learned how to get their balance and make a move inside without dribbling; as a result, they are not effective when they meet a team that sags well to help.
It is possible to learn to fake, to score off two feet and off one foot, and to make many many moves without using a dribble inside. Forcing yourself to score this way exclusively in pickup games and in summer practice, will pay dividends during the season and will get you in the habit of using a dribble only when it is necessary.
In nearly every game at every level, two or more should’ve-been- layups are never taken because the ball is batted away when it never should have been dribbled in the first place.
Learn from this statistic and learn to score inside without dribbling.
From Dick’s book Stuff
This phrase and concept is so important that it is used as at title rather than as an explanation under “One-on-one” or “Taking the shot.” The concept is very simple to understand, but few good players understand the importance of it.
If you decide to go one-on-one, do it immediately after you get the ball, or don’t do it at all. There is a very good reason for this. The longer you hold the ball and look around or jockey for position, the more time the defense has to get in good help-position to stop you and clog the lane. If there is an opening to go one-on-one, your best chance is immediately, not after you hold the ball for several seconds.
The same concept applies to taking a shot from outside. If you are free and in your range, take the shot. If you aren’t, don’t take it. But don’t stand there deciding and then shoot. Anytime you have stood there deciding, decide not to shoot. Why? Because tentative shooters are poor shooters. If something about the situation causes your instincts to delay, something about your instincts is likely to disrupt the smooth flow of your shooting motion.
Players shoot at their best when they get the ball, and they know as it comes that they are going to shoot. When this happens, your rhythm is right, and “all systems are go.” But if something about the play makes you reluctant, your rhythm is likely to be off. If you need further proof of this, watch some games. Players who hold the ball and think and decide usually miss.
A good rule to follow is this: when in doubt, pass. Or, if you have held the ball, pass.
Seldom does a team lose for having passed up open shots. You lose by missing shots, by shooting too fast, by taking bad shots, by shooting tentatively. Passing up a shot rarely hurts and often it helps. If ever you pass up a shot and you think, I should have shot that one, your rhythm will be in gear for the next time. When you get the ball, you are very likely to have the confidence and the smooth flow that will enable you to put up your best possible shot.
Most certainly, never hold the ball deciding and then shoot because a fan yells “Shoot!” Make your own decisions. Go one-on-one when it feels right, and take the shot when it feels right. But do it immediately or not at all.
If you are thinking now, But it takes me a while to recognize the situation. I can’t know as soon as I get it what I should do, you are not a good player yet, and you really don’t deserve to be taking shots or going one-on-one. For a team to win, contrary to fan opinion, it is not necessary that each guy be taking shots and going one-on-one.
If you are playing in a league with no shot clock, all you need is a little patience and movement, and eventually one of the team’s best players will get a good shot at the basket. The more you play, the sooner you will recognize situations and be able to decide when you have a good opportunity and when you don’t.
If you are at the stage where you still have to hold the ball and look in order to decide whether or not you have an opportunity, you don’t deserve to be shooting and trying to score yet. You can use yourself better by concentrating on moving to keep your defender busy, screening for your teammates, handling the ball well, playing good defense and rebounding.
The players who take the scoring initiative should be those who know at the instant they get the ball that they have an opportunity. If they do have one, they should take it immediately or not at all.
From Dick’s book Stuff
For all the complaining that players are apt to do about not getting the ball enough, one of the biggest faults of most players is their failure to come to the ball against pressure. “Hiding” is more relaxing, and that is what players tend to do. They get 25-40 feet from the ball, and they stand there waiting for it to be thrown. Sometimes, they even wave their arms and frown, but whether they know it or not, they are hiding.
Few players realize how often they hide. They seem to be readily available when no help is needed, and they are very concerned about getting their share of the shots against a team that is applying no pressure. But where are they when the going is tough? Where are they when the ball is being double-teamed? Where are you?
If the ball is being double-teamed, or if your teammate has picked up his dribble and the defender has gotten in his face—if you aren’t ten feet from the ball, then you are hiding. You cannot be found. A player being pressured by two men or having no dribble left cannot be expected to find you 40 feet or even 25 feet away. A 25-foot pass takes too long to get there, and an alert team will have an excellent chance of intercepting it. Run to the ball.
Hiding against pressure (when your team especially needs you) is the worst form, but it is not the only form. Game after game, players go trotting casually to the offensive end without a glance at their point guard dribbling downcourt and without recognizing the semi-fast break scoring opportunities. Often, their defenders aren’t even looking at the ball and aren’t ready to defend a quick burst of speed toward the basket. But the quick bursts don’t happen very often, because players are not constantly seeking the ball.
In just about every game, there are easy baskets to be gotten that don’t even require basketball ability. There are 3-on-3’s that easily could become 4-on-3’s except that someone hides instead of seeks. And there are 3-on-3’s where nothing happens except that the dribbler waits for all five and sets up an offense. Why do even good shooters fail to realize that by running and making a sharp cut, they could get the ball in a great scoring spot?
These answers seem to be attributable to sheer laziness—and angry coaches claim that constantly—but it cannot be that simple. Because well-conditioned players with good attitudes do it, too. They hide. They jog behind a trotting defender or alongside him when a sprint could result in an easy score.
Someday, play in a pickup game with the sole objective of trying to see how many times you and an alert guard, or you and a forward who is willing to run, can score easy baskets. You may not score them or throw the assists, but you should see how many times it could happen.
There are dozens of baskets to be scored out there on the courts just waiting for you to come out of hiding.
From Dick’s book Stuff
Too many players fool themselves into thinking they have played good defense (despite their man making a shot) because they got their hand within an inch or two of the ball when it was shot. But how close you come to the ball has nothing to do with how well you defended that shooter. The crucial consideration is what are you doing while the shooter is deciding whether or not to shoot.
If you are standing there passively or playing possum and waiting for the block as the shooter decides to go up for a shot, then you will have no effect on the shot unless you touch it. Coming two inches from the ball is the same as coming two feet (or eight feet) from it. If the shooter expects to get the shot off and he shoots it accordingly, with confidence, it has nothing to do with you. Coming close to the ball after it is released may fool you, but it won’t fool your coach. Your activity is too late.
If you want to have an influence on a shot, if you want to make a shot difficult, you have to get the shooter’s attention while he is deciding to shoot. It is when he is deciding that you need to get him thinking about you, thinking that you might get there to block it, that you might touch the ball at his chest, or you might crowd him and prevent a complete follow-through. If you get him thinking about you, there is a good chance he will hurry his
shot or not concentrate as well, and more often than not, he will miss. No player is so good a shooter that he simply makes whatever he can get off. All shooters are at their best when they know in advance
they are going to be able to get their shot off.
For this reason, a small man can often defend a taller outside shooter
better than a guy who is the shooter’s size. It is not a question of whether or not the little man can touch the shooter’s ball. Very possibly he cannot. But can the taller shooter get free to set himself and bring the ball off the floor the way he likes to? Many tall players would rather go against a guy their size, a guy they have confidence they can fake out, rather than have to worry about a smaller but quicker man who tends to get underfoot and break up their rhythm with quick jab fakes and fast hands dangerously near the shooter’s dribble.
The crucial point is to worry the shooter before he shoots, while he is deciding. Once he goes up, it is too late. A player is likely to complete the shooting motion with the confidence and concentration he began it with.
A good defender has to interrupt that rhythm and concentration by gaining that shooter’s attention with jab fakes, violent movements— whatever it takes to get the shooter’s attention on you and off the shot. You don’t need to touch a shooter’s ball to make him miss. You merely need to gain his attention. Confident shooters make high-percentage shots, while distracted shooters, even great ones, shoot poorly. Everyone knows that.
But what is your style of defense doing about it?
From Dick’s book Stuff