Fratello Fundamentals

Always challenge your opponent’s jump shot. Unless he’s cashing in on a foul at the free throw line the shooter should never get an easy look at the basket. In last night’s game the Hawks wound up shooting almost 60% largely because they had so many wide-open shots.  As in the previous game against the Bucks, the Nets did not hustle to put pressure on the shooters, which resulted in runaway leads both nights.

Watching your defense give up open looks at the basket drives you crazy as a coach. Contesting shots is just a matter of will and effort, not talent, so there’s no excuse for letting your man have a clean look. The defensive side of ball may not be glamorous, but night in and night out it’s where games are won or lost. If you look at the field-goal percentage splits, contested jump shots are made significantly less than uncontested shots. You must get a hand in the shooter’s face on every attempt – that’s how games are won.

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