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Author: Scott Ginn

This is our first guest post on the Tribe and it's a great way to start. Mike Largey wrote the beginnings of this article in the comments section of the post New Layers: The Ball Screen and I asked him to expand upon it to make sure no one missed out. Fun fact: in the 80's Mike played international ball against the likes of Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac. Have an idea for a guest post? Let me know. And, no, it isn't a requirement that you competed against Vlade, just a bonus. Thanks again, Mike. The Circle Reverse is an excellent pressure relief move to a failed North/South penetration. But after viewing that layer of the offense I had a number of observations "circling" in my head.
  1. A player reversing direction and receiving a pass from a teammate that just failed on a North/South penetration attempt is an effective way to open up scoring opportunities. Why does there have to be a "failure" first before we get the benefits of this movement?
  2. When viewing the Circle Reverse layer on the DVD I wondered why the player flipping the pass side steps out of the way of the receiver's defender. Why not just come to a jump stop and set a screen after flipping the pass - similar to a Dribble Handoff action?
  3. If we want to intentionally perform a Circle Reverse with the added screen can it be as simple to read as the Speed Dribble and Power Dribble? Will this new read aid or hinder the development of a "true" Circle Reverse read (an honest attempt at North/South penetration flattened out into a more East/West direction)?
  4. If we develop something that intentionally triggers a Circle Reverse with an added screen should it be considered part of the Sprint Ball Screen layer or an adjustment to the Circle Reverse layer?
  5. Can "it" be considered an offensive principle?
The result of these observations together with my team's performance led to the development of the Intentional Circle Reverse.

We’re trying something new. This is the first Tribe Spotlight where we feature the successes, struggles, insights, and hopefully game footage of Read & React coaches. Our first spotlight comes from Stephen Ring in Melbourne, Australia. I know, the R&R is so international. Here’s what Coach Ring (Ringy in the forum) has to say. And, if you want your team spotlighted, send me an email at scott@betterbasketball.com and we’ll set it up. The following clips have been taken from our first pre-season games through the fifth game of the regular season. We are far from perfect, but what I’ve tried to highlight with these clips is the players making the reads and reactions. We don’t score on every occasion and sometimes we don’t make the correct reactions, but I think the footage shows that the coordinated movement (even with mistakes) is very difficult to defend, post passing can open up the outside for kick-outs, and cutters are generally in good rebounding position if a shot is taken. Pay particular attention to the progression from the pre-season (Videos 1 & 2) into the regular season (Videos 3 & 4)- we made a lot of progress!

Pre-Season Clips: Learning the Basics

The above clips are from a couple of our pre-season games and we are pretty much sticking to our basic Layers highlighting:

  • Pass & Cut with Circle Movement
  • Good Front Cuts and Post Feeds
  • Post Passing with Laker Cuts
  • Baseline Drives filling windows
  • Drive and Pitch

Pre-Season Clips: Becoming More Comfortable

Here’s another set of pre-season games highlighting:

  • Corner Back Cuts
  • Speed Dribble and an attempted Power Dribble
  • Penetrate and Pitch
  • Penetrate and Dish
  • Back Screen, hit the cutter, dish to Post (pity it was a traveling call)
  • Strong Basket Cuts
  • Baseline Drives
  • Post Passing and Laker Cuts
  • Filling windows

Juliet famously declares in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, “that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” Of course, she is talking about Romeo’s name and all the trouble it creates for the couple, but the same could be said about the Read & React. That’s right! Literature and the Read & React; where else could you get this stuff? There is a recent forum thread titled, Changes to R&R Terminology where coaches are discussing what terms they like in the R&R, which they’ve switched out, and which they’ve found most successful. Every coach is different. Every team is different. And players will respond to different terms - the trick as a coach is to figure out which terms your team relates to the best and use those. For example, some coaches have struggled using North/South Dribble Penetration as a term. Instead, they use Penetration Dribble. They’ve changed East/West Dribble to Perimeter Dribble. Any of those are fine and changing the terms doesn’t hurt our feelings. Well... maybe a little, but we get over things quickly.

I love the corner cutter in a 5 OUT when the wing drives baseline. There, I said it. It’s out there and it feels so good to get that off my chest. Why do I love him? Well, mainly because he is the underdog. He is the most harassed cutter in the entire Read & React system, yet he continues to soldier on, following the Circle Movement principle with a blatant disregard for what outsiders might think of him. “You’ll clog the middle!”, they yell. “You won’t make it to the other side in time!” “You’ll keep the penetrator from getting to the rim, you selfish…” But, those words of discouragement don’t even phase him. He just Circle Moves like he’s been trained to. Sometimes he’s open; sometimes not, but he knows deep down that he’s doing what’s best for the big picture. Nicely done, corner cutter in a 5 OUT when the wing drives baseline. Nicely done. Ok, that’s over. I just had to have a little fun with this issue. In reality, this is probably the most discussed “problem” in the Read and React. We’ve had emails about it, I’ve seen it in forums, coaches ask about it in clinics and I finally want to put it to bed (at least, for now). The goal of this post is to look at what aspects of this action are seen as problems and examine all the proposed solutions. From there, it’s really up to you.

Fleas are capable of jumping extremely high. In fact, the average flea can jump between 8–10 inches high, which is just about 100 times its height. That’s like a 5-foot-tall person jumping from the ground to the top of the Washington Monument. Yikes. Fleas can be trained, however. If you were to place a group of fleas in a jar with the lid off, their superior jumping ability would easily allow them to escape from the confines of the jar. Now, close the lid and walk away for three days.