The concept of the stretch forward became a major trend in basketball a few years ago. Now, just about every team in the NBA has one or two. The game’s evolution has increased the value of three-point shooting and spacing. This means that there isn’t always room for two burly fellows in the paint. As a result, players who have spent most their careers around the basket are now stepping back toward the perimeter.
The best of these players are incredibly valuable not just because of their ability to shoot well, but also because of their versatility. When a player like Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, for example, can switch on picks and cover a shooting guard or a power forward, the defense as a whole becomes nearly impenetrable.
Coaches of young basketball players should consider using sports team websites to teach their forwards about the value of spacing, versatility and three-point shooting. The game is changing, and the teaching should keep pace.
Ibaka learns how to play on the perimeter
The Oklahoma City Thunder, when healthy, allocate most of their offensive possessions to stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. However, coach Scott Brooks would like to have more spacing, so forward Serge Ibaka is working on his three-point shot, according to The Oklahoman. Ibaka is already converting the shots at a pretty impressive rate. The next step is to drive around defenders who are creeping closer by the game.
“The thing that we’re working on is the one dribble drive,” Brooks told the news outlet. “They’re going to start closing out to him. He’s going to have to do that one dribble shot or drive the basket and attack. He’s done it a couple times, but probably not enough. As the season goes along, we’re going to want more of it.”
Hawks player does it all
Paul Millsap is technically listed as a power forward on the roster sheet for the Atlanta Hawks, but you might not know it by watching him play. Rolling Stone reported that Millsap takes pride in doing all the little things - setting picks, shooting inside and from deep, playing steady defense, etc. He’s a big reason why the Hawks lead the Eastern Conference this season.
“I feel I can continue to grow as a player,” Millsap told the news outlet. I have a long time to continue to progress with my shooting, continue to keep my ball handling tight, continue to stay in shape. You know, all of it. I’m not going to pinpoint one thing, because I’ve worked hard to try to have all aspects of my game be pretty good.“