November 22, 2002, Newsletter Issue #85: MATHEMATICS OF BASKETBALL

Tip of the Week

15` - 18` spacing between all of your players probably gives you the best chance of spreading out your offense and making it hard to guard. This will create a number of "triangles" between any THREE offensive players. These triangles are what puts pressure on a defense and is, really, the basis for offensive plays. Now put the players in the proper places, and as the Pilgrims said, "now we`re talking turkey". For example, if the player wants to enter a pass to the wing(the free throw line extended to the three point line). I think that there is a spacial relationship that he must keep to create a good passing angle. If you were to draw a line from the basket through the corner of the key at the free throw line, and extend it to half court, I call that the "Entry Line". The passer should be as close to that line as possible to make an effective pass. 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.
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. 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 to feed the post from the other side.
When determining passing angles, I believe that there is a mathematical relationship between the passer, the reciever, and the defender, and maybe the basket. Being a basketball coach and not a mathemetician, I`m not exactly sure what the relationship is, but I know that there is one. What I do know is that the most important basketball math problem is: your points > opponent points :?)

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