Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Taj Gibson, & The Little Things

By Joe Haefner

The Chicago Bulls picked Taj Gibson with the 26th pick of the 1st round in the 2009 draft; and he has been a pleasant surprise so far this season.  He’s started 10 of 13 games so far; and when ranked among rookies, he is 2nd in rebounding and blocks, 6th in minutes played, 8th in shooting, 9th in steals, and 15th in scoring.

In a recent article on, Taj Gibson talks about the little things that make the great players great.

But, his buddies still want to know, what’s it like? How good is KG? How big is Duncan?

“I tell them they’re great, but it’s the small things,” said Gibson, an eager student of the game. “It’s
not only the one or two plays, the dunk or blocked shot, it’s the things they do for the team.

“A lot of people don’t know what beats you,” says Gibson. “Against Boston, it was the way he (Garnett)
screened the whole night, putting a body on the wings to free Ray Allen and the rest of the shooters. You
take that and the talking, the communication on the court.”

If the great players like Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan do these little things, wouldn’t you think it’d be a good idea to do that as well?

Coaches will reward you when you do the little things like:

- Communicating on the court
- Blocking out on every shot
- Helping teammates off of the floor
- Great footwork
- Making the extra pass
- Making the good pass, rather than the spectacular pass
- Setting great screens
- Taking charges
- Always rotating correctly on defense
- Treating every practice like it’s a game

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

Are you doing the little things?


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NEW BLOB from Kansas State – Dayton Game

By Joe Haefner

Check out this new baseline out of bounds plays (BLOB) from the Kansas State – Dayton game:

Beginner Shooting Progressions For All Ages

By Don Kelbick


What is the best way to have a kid progress shooting from a low position around the stomach or chest (i.e. push shot) to a position in which the ball is set higher with the arms/hands?


A lot depends on how old the kid is and whether he can comfortably reach the basket or not. The method I use is called “by the numbers.”

Start by sitting in a chair.

#1 – Hold the ball in front of you, by the seams, in the fingertips of the shooting hand.

#2 – Turn the ball and put it into a shooting tee. Hand under the ball, on the fingerpads, in the proper shooting position.

#3 – Shoot the ball as high in the air as possible while holding the follow through. The object is to have the ball return directly back into the shooting hand without having to move your hand to catch it. The only way to do that is to shoot it straight up.

Eventually, I will add a new #3, which is stand up (shooting the ball becomes # 4). Eventually, you will synchronize the body motion and the hand motion. After that happens, I will add the guide hand.

It is important to remember that it takes 3 times longer to break an old habit than to build a new habit. When frustrated or challenged, people invariably revert to what is comfortable to them, which is the old habit, so it will take a lot of repetitions. By removing the basket as an objective, players are more motivated to do the reps.


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NEW Offense Article on the Triangle Offense

By Joe Haefner

When Don Kelbick was recently in Austria for training players, he worked with a coach who used the Triangle Offense. When Don got back, he diagrammed and wrote down everything about the Triangle Offense that he could remember.

Read more about the Triangle Offense used by Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers.

NEW VIDEO – Strength & Conditioning Article for Basketball

By Joe Haefner

If you are looking to improve explosivness and strength on the basketball court, take a look at this new article we just posted: 4 Strength & Conditioning Drills
for Basketball Players

NEW Article: Developing a Team Covenant

By Joe Haefner

I’m a big believer in developing “synergy” within your teams in order to over achieve in season. One of the things we are doing this year at UW Stout is working on developing a “team covenant”–a set of ideas that each member of our squad agrees to do that will help us establish norms and positive attitudes.

Below is a list of “I CAN COMMIT” statements that we will be reviewing with our team.

For the rest of the article written by Larry Ronglien of UW Stout Men’s Basketball, visit Developing a Team Covenant.

Tips for Subbing With Youth Basketball Teams

By Joe Haefner

Check out this forum discussion on subbing for youth teams. There are some great subbing methods such as the “piece-meal” & “numbering” methods.

Subbing for Youth Teams

Here is the numbering system I used in the past:

1. I would assign a number to each player. If I had eight players, I would make sure that 1 & 2 was either a good ball handler and/or scorer. Then, I would do the same thing for 6&7. This way, you have a player who can score and/or handle the ball on the court at all times.

2. If we played 4 8-minute quarters, I would sub every 4 minutes.

3. I subbed for the next numbers in line. For example, if I had players 6,7, 8 on the bench. I would sub for 1,2,3. When I had 1,2,3 on the bench, I would sub for 4,5,6. When I had 4,5,6 on the bench, I would sub for 7,8,1. When I had 7,8,1 on the bench, I would sub for 2,3,4.

NEW Article: 3 Things You Can Learn From Football’s “WILDCAT” Offense

By Don Kelbick

Any of you who know me or have read my work, know I look at basketball differently than most. I am always looking at things in everyday life or in other sports and relating them to basketball to try and help me be a better teacher and coach.

I apologize to our readers who are unfamiliar with American football. Please try to understand the essence of these thoughts.

I hate to draw parallels from football. Football has become so technical that I think you can program “Rock-em-Sock-em” robots to play it. Jim Valvano, the late, great coach at Iona and North Carolina State, used to call football the “F” word and forbade anyone to say it in his presence. That’s quite a statement when you consider he was the athletic director as well

Be that as it may, I think we all can learn from the Miami Dolphins. Here in Miami, the Wildcat offense is a star. For anyone not familiar with the “Wildcat,” it is a formation and system of plays that has its roots back in offenses of the 1930′s and 1940′s.

For the rest of the article, visit: