Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scoring Around the Rim as a Perimeter Player

I think one of the skills that has been lost a little bit in the game of basketball is the ability to be a truly great scorer around the rim, and I think it's something that seperates great players from good ones. Most kids who are great athletes are so worried about dunking that they forget about really being scorers around the rim. They forget that more often than not there is going to be a defender that is going to keep them from dunking, so they are going to have to be able to score around the rim without the dunk. Michael Jordan was a great one because once he got to the rim, he could beat you a numer of different ways - reverse layups, floaters, up and under, and of course the dunk. He was a prolific dunker, but that wasn't his only weapon when he broke his defender down and got to the tin.

In my humble opinion, a good high school guard should know how to perform the following moves effectively with either hand by their senior year if they are great at scoring around the rim in traffic:
-Regular lay up
-Reverse lay up
-Floater/runner in the lane
-High banking layup from the side
-2 foot power up off the jump stop using their body to ward off the defender and absorb contact
-Hook shot - even the guards can use this well against a smaller defender
Not only do they have to be able to perform these, but more importantly, they have to know WHEN is the right time to use them as well. Is this asking to much of a high school kid? Maybe, but I think it's worth it to try.

I believe if you can do these moves, you will be able to effectively score around the rim against anyone. My all time favorite player by far is Khalid El-Amin, he was amazing at scoring in the lane when he had to and he was only 5-9. As the point guard for UConn, his floaters in the lane were pivotal plays in their national title run. He wasn't that tall, couldn't jump overly well, but still managed to score points in the paint. There is nothing worse than watching a lightning quick guard pennetrate the lane time after time and not be able to score once he gets there. That drives me nuts!


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