“I got the keys, keys, keys………..” – DJ Khaled

PicsArt_02-09-01.57.58I have bad news. All of you have been lied to for years and years. Your coaches have lied to you. Other players have lied to you. Commentators, fans, trainers, ball boys, your dad, everyone has been lying to you. What have they been lying to you about you may ask? The key to winning. I’m sure everyone who has picked up a basketball has heard the adage, “Offense wins games but defense wins championships.” FALSE!!!!!!! In the words of the great Bill Russell, “The game always has been and always will be about buckets.”

I think it’s very ironic and genius that they chose him for that commercial seeing as how Bill Russell is often regarded as the greatest defensive player to ever play the game. But he’s right. The key to winning lies on the offensive side of the floor. Don’t get me wrong, defense is super important, like super duper important. But who wins the game? The team that scores the most points. The game would change for a lot of people if they approached it this way. In no way, shape or form am I saying abandon defense. I LOVE a defensively intense player. When I played, I took pride in being a good defender. Gary Payton is one of my favorite players ever. I absolutely love defense but you can’t win if you can’t score. People don’t put enough focus on being unstoppable on offense though.

An often misconstrued notion about basketball is that the defensive player is the aggressor. Wrong. It’s the offense who is in control. The offense should be the threat not the defense. You should have the defender on his heels trying to figure out a way to stop you. There are so many more ways to score than there are ways to defend. You have to have the attitude that the opposing defense has to be better than your offense to stop you. And if you believe that someone is that much better than you where they can just flat out shut you down then pick another sport buddy.

Look at Golden State. They are a good defensive team but they are historically great because of their offense. When the game is played properly, it is impossible to be stopped. Constant ball movement, high IQ, sharp, decisive cuts, quick decisions, shot making ability, setting hard screens, patience, all of those things lead to success. No matter how hard you’re playing defensively, you can’t stop a great offensive team that plays the game correctly.

The trick to all of this is getting back to fundamentals. There is a lot of bad offensive practices that are being put into place that makes it easier to play defense. Over dribbling, bad shooting, standing around, bad timing, no chemistry. When you do these things against good defenders they love you for it. I coached a JV high school team this past season and I had them play one on one with a max of three dribbles and they looked like that commercial where they monkeys were trying to figure out how to use the computer. Everything you need to do to score should for the most part, happen before you even put the ball on the floor. I’m going to stop myself before I go off on a tangent. Another post for another day lol.

But I’m not gonna talk y’all to death. Get your offensive game up. Stop letting these people lie to you. If you stop somebody every single time and don’t score a bucket the best you’ll do is tie. Stops are important. VERY IMPORTANT but the fact remains………………the game always has been and always will be about buckets.

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