Those are of course the most spectacular defensive plays in basketball, but also the most difficult. It is all about timing. Choosing the right time is one of the keys to have success, not just in those cases, but also in this Game.
- THE STEAL
Someone says the art of stealing can’t be taught. Others say that it’s all about quick reaction, sacrifice and clever misdirection.
Let’s read what said one of the best stealers in the game, Rajon Rondo…
“My aim is to get the basketball, of course not to give up it! A steal is the first pass of a transition bucket for me”, he said. “When an opposing point guard is dribbling in front of me, I might count his dribbles and try to anticipate maybe the fourth, fifth time he dribbles the ball, and then go for the steal.”
-The trick: Be quick and make a move on the ball when your opponent least expects it… Pay always attention! Try to steal the ball when it is possible. Don’t hit or touch too intensely the ball handler, or you are going to commit a foul!
The 2015-2016 steals per game leaders are Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) and Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves Minnesota) with an average of 2.1! Rajon Rondo (Sacramento Kings) follows them with 2.0.
- THE BLOCK
I am going to be honest with you, blocking a shot is not for every one. Even if you have the right body type and desire, it still requires a good amount of intuition and skill, which develops with the experience.
A shot blocker should need to be long, tall, but especially able to jump really high. Why? Because, for example, if you are 5’8” (175 cm) and you try to block a 6’6” (200 cm), it will be a really hard thing and you will put your team in difficulty. That because there is the high probability that you are not just going to miss the block but also to foul the opponent.
Here are some tips that will help you improving your shot block and saving your fouls at the same time…
- The blocking shots is a reaction to the offensive action. So you have to be careful how you react because they can easily give you a little fake.
- Maintain your position in the “TUBE”. The tube is an imaginary cylinder ; the idea is not to allow any part of your body outside the tube when you go up. So…
- You have to go straight up keeping your position in the tube. It will also help you saving your fouls.
- DON’T SWING at the ball. As soon as you bring your arm down, you exponentially increase the chances to be called for a foul.
- Try to keep the ball in play. If you block and send the ball out of the court, you loose the possibility to start a new quick transition, so you have to play another defense.