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  • Jack Fleming

David Fizdale — Creating a Culture & Style of Play

Please enjoy the following notes from David Fizdale’s clinic at Coaching U Live 2017 on creating a culture and style of play.

Taking a New Job

  • Common ground — where I’ve come from & where they rare right now.

  • Book Recommendation: Thick Face, Black Heart: The Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business & Life by Chin-Ning Chu

  • Interview Preparation: studied their team to death, how to modernise their style of play, how to maximise their roster, what I had learned from Miami.

  • Be direct with your senior players, they will respect you for it.

“Kids today want the why, adapt or die.” — Fizdale
  • Vision: if we could shoot the 3 and guard the 3, we had a chance.

Flow Offence

  • Emptied our rim running big to the weakside block.

  • Wanted to keep wings in the corners, give space for Mike Conley.



  • If bigs are not ahead of the ball, find the nearest sideline.

  • Same side, double drag.

  • If we have two bigs up we go into double drag or “77”


  • If bigs are on opposite sides, horns and always dive Randolph.


  • If the guards are on the same side, we run into horns on an empty side of the floor.

  • Screener hit the lower body and roll quick.

Developing a Style of Play

  • Turn pieces of actions into your drills, get game shots 3v0 into 3v3.

  • My philosophy was: use the 3, guard it and use our post punch.

  • Marc Gasol: shot and made more than 3’s than ever before, sold to Zac Randolph to come off the bench and he become the leagues best 6th man.

  • Develop your players with relation to your offensive system.

  • Open your players up to new potential, take them out of their box.

  • First year with the big 3, we didn’t adapt to the team we had.

Defensive Transition

  • Spoelstra: we must get back “on the release”.

  • How quickly can you get 5 guys below the line of the ball.

  • Drill: 5v4, 7 seconds, offence can shoot but can’t dribble.

  • Practice ‘X’ing out, back to 5v5 full court.

5 Action

  • 3 has choice in the corner (a) curl cut (b) back cut and © long cut which is run hand off with 5

  • If you like your actions in the half court, make them part of your SOB.

Pick & Roll Defence

  • Never change calling screen left or right, push it one way.

  • “stunt and stick” out of the strong side corner.

  • Never give up that you look like you’re switching. Talk, touch, take.

  • If the ball gets over the FT line, then “peel switch.”

  • Attack the roller and veer back.

Final Thought

“Do the best job you can, no matter where you are.”
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