Offensive and defensive assumptions behind Blitz Basketball

Last week, I re-formatted the diagrams in Blitz Basketball to make it available through Amazon Kindle. It was the first time that I had read the book since I wrote it in 2008 (originally in 2006, with the second version completed in 2008). 

After a decade, I was happy to see that much of the book has held up to the test of time. Specifically, I think many current offenses and defenses are based on the same or similar assumptions that I used when developing the offensive and defensive systems initially. The original 10 assumptions from Blitz Basketball were:

  1. 1v1 in open space, the offensive player has the advantage.
  2. Teams who make a lot of free throws win a lot of games.
  3. When a defense is forced to scramble, more fouls are committed and more offensive rebounds relinquished.
  4. Offensive rebounds lead to fouls, points, and free throws.
  5. A turnover is a wasted possession.
  6. Catching the ball squared to the basket greatly improves a shooter’s percentage.
  7. Dribble penetration is toughest to defend.
  8. Most teams rely heavily on starters and see a big drop-off after their fourth or fifth player.
  9. Offensive players are ill-equipped to handle pressure for a full game.
  10. Forcing players to make decisions at a faster pace leads to mistakes

There are definite similarities to SABA: The Antifragile Offense, which is based on my current beliefs and teaching practices with higher level teams.

I don’t think of myself as a system coach, and I remain flexible depending on my personnel, but it is evident through the two books, written 10 years apart, that there are certainly beliefs upon which I base my systems and style of play from year to year.

By Brian McCormick, PhD
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League
Author, The 21st Century Basketball Practice and Fake Fundamentals

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