Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Why Triple Threat is Bad for Offense and Bad for Players
When coaches talk about a lack of fundamentals in US players what are they really talking about? It's not shooting - lots of kids can shoot it very well. It's not ball handling - every kid now can dribble like Bob Cousy. What we are really talking about is the fact that players don't know how to move the ball and make decisions quickly. A big part of the problem is that we teach and emphasize triple threat. The Tweet below comes from a group called "D1 Experience" who touts themselves as a group that gets players ready to play Division 1 basketball. The tweet highlights the "importance" of triple threat (I won't even get into the stupidity of the dribbling comment). Unfortunately it is dead wrong.
Anyway, why do I hate the triple threat? It's simple. The triple threat encourages players to hold the basketball. They hold it, they face up, they jab step, jab again, maybe throw a shot fake in for good measure. As they do that, what happens? The defense gets into position, the other offensive players start watching. Using and teaching triple threat slows down offense, creates ball watchers, and encourages selfish 1 on 1 play. It does not have a single positive attribute.
The three clips below are of this year's French U20 National Team - you can watch the entire game by clicking here. The way they play is very reminiscent of the way the Spurs play - they move the ball quickly, they find the open player, and no one uses triple threat. How many times does a player get into triple threat, use jab fakes, etc? The answer is never. They make decisions on the catch and shoot it, drive it, or move it immediately. They move the ball quickly, make quick decisions and read the defense before or on the catch. They are holding the ball around a second and moving it. Their drives are not coming out of triple threat, but coming immediately on the catch. It's beautiful basketball and it's free of triple threat. This is the way basketball is meant to be played, so why don't we teach it this way in America?