Fratello Fundamentals

If you are the offensive big man setting the screen for a high, middle pick-and-roll and your defender leaves you to stop the dribble penetration, you should follow him to the rim to make yourself available for a pass or potential offensive rebound.

Fortunately for the Nets, Josh Boone was right where he was supposed to be following a missed shot at a critical point in their matchup against the Bobcats last night. Up by six with less than five minutes left in the game, Devin Harris drove to the basket, drew a couple defenders and wound up throwing up an off-balance shot. Anticipating the miss, Boone elevated for the rebound and slammed it down.

The majority of big centers should roll to the rim like Boone did in this situation. A big time jump shooter who’s a serious threat from the perimeter could fall back, giving the guard the option to dish the ball outside for a jumper. But unless you’re Dirk Nowitzki, you should follow the ball to the basket and fill the lane looking for the pass. If the opposing team can’t get a body on you in time to box out after a shot, you will be free to get on the offensive boards.

Boone’s put-back dunk was a huge save for the Nets. Despite strong starts the Nets have struggled to close all season. Charlotte was chipping away at their lead and threatened to cut it down to four. Were it not for Boone’s 2-point slam the momentum easily could have swung their way in the final minutes. Instead Boone stretched his team’s lead to eight points and the Nets held on for their fifth win of the season 103-94.

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