Originally Posted by SourPatchKids
So basically after curling off the screen/making and flexing your knees and receiving the pass, how long should it take you to release the ball out of your hands?
It's going to be difficult to say how long it should take one to release the ball once curling off a screen. A fun recommendation I often make is to tape yourself shooting around. Often, how we feel like we look often varies greatly from how we really look. For instance, my younger brother (an incoming freshman) always thought
he was practicing hard and really getting low and elevating on his jumpers. But once he saw video of what he really looked like, it became clear that he could and very much should speed his entire process up. He found his previous shot speed almost laughable.
If I'm stuck shooting by myself (or even with a partner) I'm a fan of using chairs. I usually place one at the elbow then use it as something to run around, similar to coming off a screen. And in truth, I'm not sure there's ever going to be a time where your release can be took fast (as long as you're not sacrificing the purity and function of your stroke). As always, when using chairs, I concentrate on jabbing, sprinting, curling hard, staying low, and producing a quick release.
I'll also say this, practice not with your classmates in mind, but with your best possible competition. Depending on your school, it may not be too entirely difficult to rise to the top of your food chain and dominate everyone in your class (then eventually your school). It's best to plan for the taller, faster, longer, more athletic competition you'll inevitably face once your season begins (or next season if you end up playing freshman ball, because the bigger and stronger tend to play up a level, so you may not see them for a year or two). This is why I always suggest chasing something faster, quicker, higher and stronger. It won't be enough to be just good enough to beat the people you play with.
Also if the defender closes out too hard is there any way to blow by him without making it look too obvious?
This is one of my go-to moves and it's beautiful in its simplicity. The great thing is, when you cut hard, come off screens hard, and basically just play hard, it forces the defense to sharpen things up in response. Oftentimes, this makes the defense very susceptible to simple fakes and movements.
For instance, let's assume you walk yourself out to the perimeter. The defense happens to be lacking in aggression and they subsequently allow you to catch the ball on the wing. From there, you're at a standstill 20 feet away from the hoop and the defender is at a standstill in the defensive position, now ready to do their job and stop you from advancing to the hoop. Sometimes these cuts are all that are necessary, such as when initiating a play, as shown here with Tayshaun's cut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsDULdstJ5U#t=1m15s
. Anyhow, the mere point of Tay's catch there was to then allow time for Rasheed to come from the far side and set a screen.
On the flip side, remaining constantly on the move and performing sharp, decisive cuts will force the defense to react (with speed) to everything you as an offensive player are attempting to perform. What this creates is a situation where if you sprint out to catch a pass off a cut and the defense is attempting to recover or close out right behind you, it's not going to take much more than a subtle ball fake or jab to bring about a decisive offensive advantage. With them sprinting to recover (even if they're only a half step behind), their body will want to respect any movement it appears you're about to perform. A solid example of this can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgUHlYrqS0U#t=0m59s
Notice the difference from how Prince cut and how the defense responded versus Hamilton's cut on how Miller was forced to respond? And truth be told, the only reason's Miller closing out so hard in the first place is because he knows Hamilton's a scoring threat from mid-range. This would be why it's so terribly important to be a threat yourself from that distance. In my regard, it sometimes goes the other way around, where defenders will close out hard to begin with, I'll be fortunate enough to blow by them, then they'll begin sag off a little bit on my hard cuts, which of course then opens up mid-range jumpers.
The truth is, in many cases where the defense is caught chasing on someone who really believes in strong cuts and strong breaks off screens, it's an extreme advantage for the offense. The moves are nothing elaborate, just quick and sharp, like Hamilton's pump fake in the Pacers clip. Defenders will be susceptible to any sort of feigned direction change in this case.