When you think of Dwyane Wade, the first thing that probably comes into your head is all the plays that he makes with the ball in his hand. No doubt the Future Hall of Fame Player has made some spectacular plays in his long Championship Career. I think what gets over looked is his ability to move without the ball. He is such a talented cutter and the plays that he made for others when the floor was spaced and he can make his hard cuts to the basket.
What you have to always pat attention to on the floor when you don’t have the ball in your hands are the eyes on your defender. Most of the time their eyes will be fixated on the ball, because they are usually trying to make a play on it. As much as coaches tell them to see their man and the ball when they are helping defensively, that usually goes in one ear and out the other. Notice as when teammates are in the post or on screen and roll, D Wade’s man is always fixated on the ball. My rule with players that I am working with is once their defender turns their head or takes their eyes off you for any period of time, make a cut for the paint.
So much of player development is done with the ball in a player’s hands for good reason. Everyone is infatuated with the ball and making moves with it. The reality sets in that not everyone can spend the majority of their minutes with the ball in their hands and plays called for them every 4 seconds. You have to learn how to stay relevant and make plays off of the ball. In the NBA there are 450 Players on Rosters around the league. Of those 450 players only about 105 take 10 shots or more a game. What that tells me is that 345 players in the league don’t get plays called for them. Players have to find a way to be relevant which gets a lot more complicated if they don’t get a lot of shots or plays called for them. Making plays off the ball with cuts and understanding spacing and timing is very important. Pay attention to how D Wade times his cuts and the speed he has with them.
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The Hoop Consultants is a Basketball Consulting website that services mainly Grassroots and College Basketball coaches from all over the world. My name is Mike Procopio and I am the President of the company. The idea behind this website is to share as much content as possible to better the game at all levels.