Role Players: Part 2

    September 29th, By COACH RAY SMITH

    Below I will discuss three types of complimentary role players that may be on any
    successful basketball team. As mentioned in Part 1 on this topic, high achieving
    teams have players with defined roles that not only accept but embrace their duties.

    The Hustler

  • May be a starter, may play significant minutes coming off the bench or might
    even be someone who rarely gets in the game, whose primary contribution is
    in practice

  • Plays the game with a lot of energy. Gets on the floor for loose balls, sets
    good         screens, sprints the floor, aggressive rebounder, physical, not
    afraid to "mix it up"

  • Can be a high level defender asked to guard the opposing team's best player

  • Ultra competitive. The coaching staff rarely, if ever has to worry about this
    player "bringing it", whether it be game or practice

  • Teammates usually love playing with him/her, yet when on opposite teams,
    find them to be a pain in the rear end due to their intensity and non- stop motor

    Instant Offense

  • This individual usually comes off the bench. Sometimes, he/she may play less
    than half the game, other times they can come off the bench, but play the
    majority of the game

  • Can be a perimeter or post player or even a combination of both. Can score
    well off the catch and off the drive and or post up

  • This person "gets buckets", and gets them quick! Meaning, they can score
    points in bunches.......hence the term instant offense. Just pour water on them
    and watch them score!

  • Some times, they are not the greatest defender, which may be the main
    reason they are not a starter. Also, they may lack size or strength for their
    position which if guarding the opponent's starter could put them at a

  • Some times these players have a lower basketball IQ (poor decision-making
    skills). Coaches may not feel comfortable with them in the game for extended
    periods of time unless they are in a  groove knocking down shots consistently

  • Their playing time can vary depending on: (a) Who is on the floor for the other
    team that they'll be able to guard  (b) If their team is struggling to score points
    or not  (c) If the starter in their position is having a good scoring game

    The Floor Spacer

  • May be a starter or may come off the bench. Can be someone that plays
    either of the five positions

  • Great shooter off the catch, and typically can get their shot off quickly.
    Shooting range often extends out past the three point line

  • At times, may lack the foot speed or quickness of players at the same level

  • Putting the ball on the floor and creating usually isn't his/her forte

  • Their skill creates more space on the offensive end of the floor for low post
    players and slashers. By being such a deadly shooter, defenders are not able
    to help off as much in comparison to other players, thus giving teammates
    more ability to attack one on one

  • NBA comparisons: (a) Ray Allen in the latter part of his career  (b) Matt
    Bonner   (c) Kyle Korver   (d) Derek Fisher in the early/prime years of his
    career as an LA Laker

    In Part 3 we will discuss several more complimentary role players. In the meantime
    remember.............It's a simple game!

    Coach Smith
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