November 1, 2002, Newsletter Issue #82: QUALITY ENTRY PASSES

Tip of the Week

To enter the ball to the wing, the passer and receiver should ensure a proper passing angle. The passer from the guard spot should attempt to get to, what we call, the "Entry Line." The Entry Line is a line drawn from the basket THROUGH the corner of the key and the free throw line, on out to half court. The passer should attempt to get as close to that line with the dribble prior to passing to the wing. The closer he gets to the basket, the closer to the middle of the floor he can be. The further from the basket, the wider towards the sidelines he can be. This ensures a good passing angle to the wing and cuts down on the defense`s chance of denying or intercepting the pass.
If a player wants to enter a pass to the post, the passer, the ball, and the basket should all be in a STRAIGHT LINE. The best way to do this is to have the ball at the wing, the "post player" a big step above the block (which is the rectangle on the free throw lane even with the front of the rim). This will create the most difficulty for the defensive post player to determine a "side" to play defense on. Whatever side he chooses, the offense can make a simple move, via a dribble or pass, to feed the post from the other side.
A general rule of thumb, under any type of pressure defense is to "Fake a pass-Make a pass." To improve your "passing angle" you can step around the defense maintaining your pivot foot and throw a one handed entry pass. If there is no open receiver, you should keep pivoting until there`s a passing angle somewhere. Teammates must continue to move(within the framework of your offense) to get open. They must remember, they are only as open as they appear in the "passer`s eyes."

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