Re: How to beat the big dude.
I think it sort of depends upon a number of factors. For one, how much bigger is this guy than you are? Is it a 6'7'' to your 5'6''? Second, is he cutting you off on the break or just more or less waiting near the basket for you? If he's not actively defending you (again, if he's more or less established position below) a Euro-step or spin may not be effective. To be perfectly honest, in a secondary break situation (like the one I'm describing above) where a defender has the opportunity to set himself near the basket and he's much larger than you, a pull up jumper isn't the worst choice in the world.
On the flip side, if it's more of a bang-bang fast break on the run situation, where the big man is perhaps running along side of you or is very quickly trying to get beneath the basket but still moving, I always encourage initiating the contact. Some of the easiest shots to block come when an offensive player is doing everything in his power to avoid the defender. This allows that defender to extend and block many shots. But when a player dictates the contact, it becomes much tougher for the defense to pick their spots.
For instance, I'm no Dikembe Mutombo, but I'm about 6'3'' or 6'4''. Last week I played against a dude three years younger than me, but standing only about 5'10'' and carrying a significant amount of weight. I felt maybe I'd have to purposely not block his shot all the time to make things more fair. However, he actually ended up being awfully savvy at dictating contact, as I mentioned, and he was able to get off a lot of layup attempts I wasn't really planning on letting him get off. His bumps were just enough to displace my timed jump and it put the proverbial ball in his court. He surely still had a pull-up jumper in his repertoire, but when he drove, he had no problem confronting the defense and displacing them, thus allowing a relatively open layup attempt.
Another option on the fast break, as always, is the reverse layup. If a big man is trying to time out a block, he more or less has to plan on you finishing on the same side of the glass. Attempting a solid reverse will neutralize most of what the trailing defender was planning.
But more than anything else, make sure you're aggressive and unafraid of anyone and everyone on the basketball court. If a big man's getting back on defense and he's not planning on taking a charge, don't be afraid to attack that guy with fury. Basketball can often be skewed heavily in the offensive player's favor. If you blast to the hole and you collide with the non-stationary defender, you're usually either going to have an opportunity to make your shot, you're going to get fouled, or both. For me, if I'm opening up on a break and I spy a defender attempting to run back, I'm winding up and attacking like a freight train.
Last edited by Rake2204 : 09-03-2012 at 09:24 AM.