Secrets YOU CAN DO NOW TO BE A BETTER SCORER TODAY!
Scoring is the most important aspect of basketball. After all the team that is able to score the most points is the winner. Thats why people who score are held in high regards. Everyone that is considered a great player in some way or another generate points. Whether it be by setting up teammates with a pass or scoring the ball yourself. Although defense is half of the game its very rare that at player is called great for only playing defense well. But on the other side there are plenty of players that are called great that have subpar defense, as long as they can generate points. That's why I'm writing this to help you become a better scorer. There are many things you could work on to become a better scorer, but most of them take a long time to develop. So I will focus on some things that you can put in your game today, that will allow you to see results today.
After I graduated from high school I accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Schoolcraft Junior College. Before our season started my coach Carlos Briggs called me into his office. “Kevin what are your goals for this upcoming season?” Me not having set any goals trying to come up with something… “Well, I think I can average about 16 points 6 rebounds and 3 ast. This is college and it surely will be harder than high school where I averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds.” My coach bursted out in laughter… “You’re selling yourself way short. We are going to need you to score much more than that if we are going to be successful this year. With your skill level and the things I’ve seen you do in training, there is no reason you can’t lead this conference in scoring and be conference player of the year.” Me thinking in my head… yeah that would be nice but there's no way that's going to happen.
For me, hearing that my coach was counting on me to score a lot of points was exciting but I had no idea how to go about doing it. So I dedicated the rest of the preseason testing out new methods and tricks to score more points. What I found out was amazing, and I not only lead the conference in scoring, I lead the nation in scoring ahead of guys like Shawn Marian and Steve Francis. Now that I am retired from a ten year professional career I am going to pass to you my scoring secrets that have helped me be a top scorer in every league I've played in since Junior College.
1. ALWAYS CATCH THE BALL IN MY SCORING RANGE.
In my first year of college my range was just inside the college three point line. So I did a lot of work early to catch the ball in my range even if I had to post up on the wing. What this did for me is it made me instantly a threat to score every time I touched the ball. The defense had to play me honest because I could shoot or drive. If the defense was late I could shoot right away, and if they were there I could go right into a effective scoring move. Also if I attacked the basket and got cut off I could shoot a pull up jumper which would be very close because it would take a defender a few steps to cut me off leaving me with a contested lay up or very short jump shot. This can also work for point guards, because rarely a point guard dribbles up the court and shoot without any passes. So for point guards once you pass the ball to set up the offense apply this principle for the next time the ball comes your way.
2. LIMIT MY DRIBBLES TO SCORE THE BALL AND DON’T WASTE DRIBBLES.
If I couldn’t get a good shot in three dribbles from inside the 3 point line (where I was catching the ball every time) I was dribbling to much and needed to pass. This also limited my turnovers greatly and it improved my decision making ability. I never played with the ball, I was able to strike quickly knowing that if I took that third dribble I better have a good shot or a teammate to pass too. If you watch teams with good ball movement you will see this principle. I'm sure you heard about Klay Thompson scoring 60 points in 29 minutes, only took 11 dribbles, had 46 touches, and only had the ball in his hands for a grand total of 90 seconds. That is an example of this principal used to the max.
3. USE YOUR FOOTWORK AND FAKES(JAB STEP, SHOT FAKE, AND PASS FAKE).
I was simply blown away by how effective pivoting was to get past my defenders, and how often players would bite on fakes. When I would catch the ball I would reverse pivot and sweep through one dribble and be right at the basket. I would jab and the defender would put down their hands and I would shoot. A lot of the time I would have the defense beat before I even took a dribble. I would jab one way and go the other and by the time the defense recovered it would be too late. Do not under use your footwork and fakes, they are very effective and have been a big reason that I have been able to score in many different countries and situations.
So the next time you step on the court apply these principals and see how much more effective and efficient you will be. These principles are still getting me buckets in open gyms everywhere every week. Thanks for taking the time to improve your game, it will pay of. Work hard and be persistent and you can get to where ever you want to go.