Friday, July 8, 2011

Why Reggie Miller Was So Hard to Guard

I was watching random highlight videos tonight and happened to come upon this clip of Kobe Bryant answering the question of who he found the hardest to guard. His answer was former Pacer great Reggie Miller.

This was surprising on one hand and completely understandable on the other. You may have guessed that Kobe would have given a cliche answer like Jordan, Wade, etc. But I think his answer is very perceptive and spot on. Why? Because Reggie was a scorer who didn't need the ball in his hand to score. Many greats like Jordan have the ball in their hands when they do their scoring. In this situation you have help from your teammates and you only have to worry about your man. With Reggie you had to worry about the ball AND Reggie, you also didn't have help as he had that lightning fast release. As the clip below shows, Reggie was a master of moving without the ball. He was always in motion and he knew how to slow down, read his defender, and make the right cut off of any screen.

One of my favorite drills is the "Reggie Miller Drill", it's based on his skills of staying in motion and using the screens properly. For the drill, you need a passer (1), a shooter (2), and a rebounder (3). You also need chairs/cones out on the floor to represent screeners and use two balls - you can tailor the screens to fit your offense if you choose. The shooter runs around for 90 seconds making different cuts off the different screens at different angles. The point of the drill is to see how many shots you can make in 90 seconds. Rebounder passes to the passer who hits the shooter for the shot. Pretty simple drill but it gets fun when they start to compete. It also trains them to just keep moving and keep coming off of screens - just like Reggie Miller used to. Make sure the players catch low, play low to high, get their feet set and square.

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