The thing that I needed most time figuring out when I went from youth basketball to a Pro league was pure physical contact. In youth league I was pretty much stronger and faster then most of the players, and there really wasn`t much big men to bump. So, when I started playing with the seniors, my first troubles begin with the finishing around the rim. I just could not create that much space not to be touched, so everybody was pushing me around, both bigger and the players of my size. After a month, my coach finally saw what was the problem and we started working on my "how get in contact" game.
Coach Chris and the Hoopsking team decided to give you this particular NBA break down where we will see how Russell Westbrook is dealing with 1 on 1 situation, and, it can really be used in any 1 on 1 situation.
The thing that you really need to understand is that 90% of the time defender is going to be on you. Wide open layups are very rare. The explanation starts with the understanding of what the defensive line is.
Defensive line is a path that the defender guarding you is taking. If you want to beat him to the basket, you need to cross your running lane with his running lane. There are 2 ways of doing this.
Red Line: Red Line is used if you can`t create much space, so your plan is that you run in to defensive line when you are close to the basket.
The thing that you need to know is if you are trying to outrun a guy that is bigger/stronger then you, in that initial contact, that first step after which you will bump him, needs to a bit slower and your stance needs to get a bit lower. If you go soft first step in a high stance, your center of gravity will be higher and you will easily be blown away. If you are low, you will manage to take the contact. After that hard first step, use inertia of the contact to lean away from the defender and finish around the rim.
In the first picture we see how Russ is preparing for the contact. He is low and he is leaning towards the Horford. In the second picture we see how Al is losing composure, and how Russ made the advantage. And in the third picture we see how Westbrook is pushing himself off of Al. If Russ tried to go for a layup without taking contact, Horford would block him 100%. And one more little secret. When you attack bigger guys, go for their thighs. That is their weak spot.
As far as the Blue Line is considered, if you are raising a defender and you somehow successfully get in front of him, just slow down a bit and wait for him to bump into your back. That will full stop him and give you momentum at the same moment.
Let`s take a look at the video:
If you want to learn more 1 on 1 basketball secrets, we at Hoopsking have prepared for you drills from some of the best coaches in the USA like Ganon Baker,Rick Torbett, Chris Hungerford and they are all just one click away: