Ask the Czar

Jonathan from Washington D.C. has a question about sideline strategies:

I notice for most NBA games the visiting team selects to shoot at its own basket in the first half compared to high school or college when teams don’t shoot at their own basket until the second half. What is the competitive advantage gained by a team shooting at its own basket in the first half compared to waiting until the second half?

It boils down to whether the coaching staff would rather have their own offense or the opposing team’s offense in front of their bench during the second half so they can yell out calls to their players and help them out in critical moments.

Some coaches feel it is more important to direct their team’s offense at the end of the game when execution potentially matters most. However, when I was coaching I usually preferred to have our defense in front of us so that we could communicate with our guys after the opposing guard called out a play. Once we knew what was coming we could signal from the sidelines to help our team make defensive stops and prevent game-winning baskets.

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