Coach’s answers #4

Georgis DikeoulakosHere is the fourth edition of the answers to your questions from the coach Georgis Dikeoulakos. To send your question to the coach simply click on "Ask the Coach" in the menu and fill the form.

Tim Mayer, USA: It seems like every time I try to drive to the basket in a real game I get trapped. Could you please help? Thanks for your time.

Georgis Dikeoulakos: From what you described me, seems that your bigest problems is that you drive to the basket and you don't see anything else than your opponent and the basket. Maybe your dribbling ability is not in a good level and your concentration is at the ball, but I think the main problem is that you don't know what is going on behind your player, you don't read the situation a second before it happens, and all that come because your head is down, probably you practice like that. Since you're getting trapped that means that someone of your teamates is wide open and you can give an excellent assist. So from now on, at every drill you are involved, and at every second, try not to watch the ball or your opponent, but you have to know exactly where is every teamate, every opponent, your coaches, even the kid who sweaps the floor.

John, Malaysia: I'd like to know on what are your thoughts about the recent NBA expansion into Europe? I think they are doing a big mistake by creating these new franchise that has NO cultural impact like what Real Madrid or Panathinaikos has.

Georgis Dikeoulakos: That's a very good point. I am also not very sure about it and very suspicious. European games have their own fans and as I see from many forums most of them prefer Euroleague than NBA, incuding myself. But I also believe that it's in everyone's heart to watch sometime a championship with NBA and Euroleague teams but I think that we are not ready yet.

Mekionis, Lithuania: Dear coach, Olympic Games are still far away but what teams are the favourites in your opinion? Do you think Lithuania has good chances? What about Greece?

Georgis Dikeoulakos: I have the feeling that at these Olympic games new stars will shine. Of course Spain is a favorite for a medal but I don't think that the gold medal will go to anybody else than to USA. It's time for their "come back".

Lithuania seems to me a little bit tired team, not tired individually but as a team. Maybe they need something new, something fresh, I don't know what can be that, coach-players-motivations. Of course I am out of the team and out of the country and there is a big posibillity for me to be wrong.

Greek team will fight for a medal, something very hard for us, and remember that we have to pass through the pre-Olympic qualification round. Personally I believe that if Schortsianitis will be in a good shape, then we gonna have a very good picture of the Greek team.

Jordan, USA: I'm a fan of Bootsy Cousin and wanted to know if you belive he has potenital to be in the NBA!

Georgis Dikeoulakos: Sorry boy, I don't know the player, I can't know everybody. Tell to your parents to write me down his full name college etc.

Massimiliano, coach from Italy: Can you help me in finding the weakness areas of amoeba defense? How can I beat this zone defense? Cheers.

Georgis Dikeoulakos: There is no doubt that the best way to beat any kind of zone is to feed the post. No matter what kind of zone is, 2-3, 1-3-1, 3-2 or 4-1 or amoeba or whatever, whenever ball goes to the low post and the other big man dive to the basket or set a blind back pick for a skip pass, the situation for the defense and the positions they get is like they are playing a terrible man to man defense (see picture 1).

Another big problem for amoeba defense is created when X5 is fighting to reach a shooter to the corner. So if you put a double screen there, that guy will have tremendous problems to reach there (picture 2). But I believe that as a good coach (that I know you are) you ain't gonna feel very comfortable having just one play against that type of zone which ends to a 3 point shoot, even from your best shooter. So try something like this (picture 3a and 3b) First player #4 makes the move you see and tries to post up inside the paint. Then the shooter #2 steps out to the corner and probably will force X5 to go out with him. Depending of the reaction of X5 and X4 you can have excellent pass inside the paint.

If you know before the game which type of sliding they use (big or small), you can also create a play and set back picks to X3 (or X4, depending who moved to this spot).

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