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Basketball Basics; Move Your Man

Dick Devenzio, founder of the Original Point Guard College

Whether you are a point guard dribbling and looking for an open man, or a forward wanting to drive in for a layup, the important thing that you must do is move the defender who is guarding you. It is not enough to merely keep the ball from him. Nor is it adequate to hope to fake him out by using a move youíve practiced on a playground. Your purpose, very definite, is to move him. Make him go places. Make him do things. Make him move to guard you.

If the guy who is guarding you must move to guard you, he will be vulnerable to fakes and quick changes of direction, and you will be able to get yourself free for a shot. But if you are lazily searching for an opening and hoping to create one with a sudden burst of speed, you donít understand what it takes to be an offensive threat.

A real offensive threat moves his man. He makes that man do things. His man is constantly being forced to go here and there and then recover and come back.

Do you move your man when you have the ball? Many players, even those who move around a lot, never move the man who is guarding them and never force him to scramble to cover them. Take time sometime, preferably in a pickup game, to look at the guy who is guarding you. Is he scrambling to cover you? Or is he able to stay on you by casually gliding from place to place?

Good players make their defenders scramble, sometimes just for the sheer joy of knowing they can. Good players move their defenders, and then they decide what to do to try to score. They donít go through some motion that worked in the driveway and hope it will lead to a score.

Move your man. Then try to score.

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