10 Ways Jeff Van Gundy Changed The Way I Think About Basketball
Jeff Van Gundy, long time ex-NBA head coach and head coach of USA basketball for the FIBA AmeriCup.
1. Why do you take a guy out with 2 fouls?
- You are fouling him out yourself
- Don’t just do what everybody else does, does not mean it is right.
2. Can your team repeat what your team identity is?
- Defend, rebound, low TO, extra pass, high quality shot.
- You have to know what loses before you know what wins.
- Quiz your players on anything and everything.
- Everybody in your program should be speaking the same language.
3. What do you run at the end of the quarter?
- 1–4 flat isolation is the shot you never want, so why do you run it?
Do you zone? Negatives isolation and middle pick and roll.
- Get action before the real action so that bodies are moving, defence is not set. Below is my preferred end of quarter play, taken from Scott Skiles.
Try and get the shot you want, a lay up or free throw.
4. Everybody on your team should look exactly the same when you close out and when you screen.
- One hand or two hands? No middle or square?
- Hold screen or separate quick?
- Roll forward pivot or reverse pivot?
5. The game is played 5v5, therefore you need to practice 5v5.
- I have never seen a game in the NBA played 3v3.
- If you don’t practice up and down it will kill your team.
- It will evaluate your conditioning, talent and real game decision making.
- Play 3 minute games with 4pts the difference, you’ll see every situation.
- Practice your D schemes, full talk and intensity at half speed.
6. As a coach you are totally in charge of defensive transition
- Getting to the FT line = perfect defensive transition. Cannot be undervalued.
- Are your rules personnel based?
- Must be moving on the rise of the shot, or else it’s too late.
- Load your trailing big to the ball.
- ‘Hit’ = go and soft trap PG at half court. Then deny back. No rotation, hedge and recover.
- Perfect against PG dominated offence, that starts with middle pick and roll.
7. Culture starts with your best player
- Have to unite and inspire the group
- Has to set a tone of intolerance for anything that gets in the way of winning.
8. Addressing your team
- Don’t just give constant noise to the players.
- Don’t give them the daily rah rah speech of how hard work is required, you don’t think they know that?
- If you speak too much, when you have something valuable to say they won’t listen.
9. Einstein “Be as simple as you can.. and no simpler.”
- Simpler is better, but don’t be ignorant.
- Narrow it down to basic concepts.
- Don’t waste practice time on needless drills.
- What wins and what loses, spend time on that.
10. The Coaching Craft
- You get better at what you do it doing it.
- If you coach every day, you should be getting better if you’re self evaluating and have people around you telling the truth.
- Having time off doesn’t give you a different perspective, the only thing you get is rusty.