Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Power of the Reverse Pivot

Watching the Suns and Spurs tonight, I watched Tim Duncan on the block. He fought and battled a physical defense all night. The times he was really successful getting wide open on the block was following a ball-reversal and he reverse pivoted sealing his man. This is something I teach our post players as well.

The reverse pivot is a powerful move. It can create space, as I talked about in my previous post, but it can also create contact and a strong seal. Without the ball, a reverse pivot can provide the offense a passing angle both on the post and on the perimeter.

When posting up, I teach our players to step into the defender and make contact first. Next, stay low and use legs to drive the reverse pivot. This will bury the defense deeper and create an easier finish.

On ball reversal, our posts are taught to reverse pivot on the leg closest to the defender. If the defense is playing on the low side, the foot closest to the baseline is the pivot. This will push the defense further towards the baseline and give an open high/low look. If the defense is fronting or playing on the high side, the foot closest to the freethrow line is the pivot. Again, this pushes the defender out of position and creates an easy post entry.

After teaching the footwork, I use variations of shell offense with a 1-on-1 situation in the post to drill. Initially just a wing feeding the post, then add a ball reversal to the point, then 3 and 4 on the perimeter.

I see a lot of players, especially young players, attempting V-cuts or L-cuts with little success. Adding a reverse pivot to these will allow these players to get open. One coach mentioned that this could potentially "slow down the offense." I disagree. By drilling the timing, it can actually improve the offense by reversing the ball with more ease.

A wing player trying to get open can use the reverse pivot with the V-cut and/or the L-cut. Using the V-cut, the player would still walk his defender to the block (or wherever you teach your players), make contact with his defender, and reverse pivot into his defender on the high leg. The L-cut works similar at the elbow. Change of speed is still critical to completing the cut. This can also be executed at the top of the key for ball reversal.

This will allow the offensive player to get between the ball and the defender. It will slow and/or stop the defender's momentum, creating a valuable split-second difference in recovery time and an open passing lane. It will also cut down on off-the-ball fouls. Players use their lower body instead of pushing off to get open.

I use 1-on-1 situations to drill this initially; from the wing and top at first. Once the players have a grasp of the footwork, I work on the timing factor by using a 3-on-3 ball reversal situation.

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