By Joe Haefner
While watching game 4 of the Bulls-Celtics series, Jeff Van Gundy stated that Derrick Rose needed to handle the switches on ball screens more like Steve Nash.
Towards the beginning of the game, the Celtics were switching on ball screens leaving a bigger, slower post player guarding Rose. Rose was settling for the jump shot or he would try to attack when he was already too close to the hoop to take advantage of his quickness.
When Steve Nash gets a big player switched onto him, he takes a couple of dribbles backwards.
This does a few things:
- Lures the bigger player out further away from the hoop.
- Allows the offensive player to gain momentum while dribbling towards the player which makes it easier to blow by the defender or change directions if needed.
- Gives teammates an extra second to space the floor properly. This spreads the defense out which gives the player with the ball more room to penetrate.
After you draw out the defender, how should you attack the defender?
- If the defensive player drops into the lane, you can use the mid-range jump shot.
- If the defensive player stays parallel and does not move, you can explode straight past them.
- If the defense comes up and puts a foot forward, you can fake an explosion move or inside-out move, then cross the defender over.
- If the help defense collapses, you can kick the ball out to an open teammate.
In the 4th quarter of the Bulls-Celtics game, I noticed Rose started to draw out the defender with a couple of dribbles backwards like Van Gundy had mentioned earlier in the broadcast. I don’t know if he figured it out himself or a coach told him to do it, but it sure contributed to his 12 point explosion in the 4th quarter that helped the Bulls come from behind and eventually squeak out the victory in double overtime.