Re: Left hand baseline drive
In terms of driving the left baseline, I echo the sentiments behind suggesting a reverse. I'd say one of the last things you probably want to do from either baseline is attempt a floater. I'd probably say the reverse may be the most common and effective finish under duress from the left baseline.
Just as important, I say do not feel as though you're obligated to throw up a shot once you're down there. A defense must always collapse when a player is at the rim, thus opening up teammates. I like the way Steve Nash is not afraid of dribbling along the baseline, through the baseline, under the rim, and out the other side if nothing's there. Patience can be very important.
I'd also suggest attempting to square your shoulders to the backboard on your takeoff when not opting for a reverse. When you're anticipating contact and elevate from the baseline with your shoulders facing the basket, you're asking for a clean and easy contest from the defense. Squaring toward the board will at least place a significant portion of your body between the defender and the ball.
In regards to the fast break scenario (which sounds like it's not coming from the extreme baseline; rather, just left of the hoop) I'd recommend experimenting to discover any effective way to put the ball in the rim. It'll sound counter-intuitive to how we're coached throughout our school years, but I do not object to using the right hand on the left side of the hoop.
For years, I tried to always use my left on the left side of the rim, but no matter how much I practiced, my right-foot, left-hand takeoffs were always weaker and less effective. Subsequently, I was often tentative on one entire side of the court. After watching a fair share of Grant Hill and Latrell Sprewell, I discovered and decided it's alright to attack as hard as possible and finish in the strongest manner possible, from anywhere.
Therefore, I don't believe it's always necessary to be on the right side of the hoop to use the right hand. Often, going up with my right on the left side allows me flexibility and an ability to get to the rim that trying to finish with my left would not. Many scoff, but personally, I'm trying to use my right hand whenever humanly possible and over the years I've had absolutely tremendous results. The left hand must still be ready and able when I need it, but finishing the most effective way possible is where it's at.
Also, don't forget your Euro-step. If you don't have one, get one. If you're not someone who's going to out-jump or out-leap your competition (and to be frank, even if you are) the Euro- is a great tool to have in the front pocket.
Finally, to semi-echo what others have said: Yes, don't be afraid of contact. However, I'm not sure I agree you should go in looking to make contact first. By that I mean, I've known some folks over the years who drive into a busy paint and place initiating contact over finishing the shot in terms of priorities. Instead, I suggest attacking the rim with a purpose and plan for contact (while not necessarily going out of your way to look for it). When I drive, my plan is to get to the rack and if anyone's in my way, they're taking a hit. If on the off chance, they have stationary charge-taking position, I alter my plans. Otherwise, I'm going in there ready to confront anyone willing to contest. The more one tries to avoid a shot-blocker, the more space it allows the defender to make a play. One must confront the situation, not run away from it.
Last edited by Rake2204 : 02-14-2012 at 07:15 PM.