Almost everyone in the basketball community agrees that the first thing a player should do upon receiving the ball is look at the rim and immediately read the situation. If a teammate is open, then you want to pass to them immediately. If not, you want to read Real Estate. In other words, if there’s an opening, you want to drive to the goal.
Your default actions are anything else that you do. Let’s put them in the order of “default actions that still threaten to score”. You can also look at these choices as your means of relieving perimeter pressure. When you’re pressured, getting rid of the ball safely is a good thing, but Read & React allows you to turn the tables on defensive pressure by turning each of these actions into scoring opportunities.
Pass East-West: You must cut which allows you to possibly get the ball back and be in the interior of the defense – just like you would have been if you had driven the ball towards the goal.
Pass North-South: If someone is inside, either cutting or posting up, your pass alone penetrates the defense. Whoever receives your pass is inside the defense. But it doesn’t stop there. Your rule as a passer is to cut the goal, something we call a Laker Cut, and you have a chance of getting the ball back for a score.
Dribbling East-West can relieve pressure, but it can turn into a basket for your teammate.
Dribble At Draft Drive: When you dribble east-west it will relieve some pressure, but you also stand a chance of Drafting your cutting teammate.
Double Dribble-At gives you two possible cutting teammates to pass to, but it also clears a lot space that could allow you room to operate (as in drive).
Power Dribble: This is the ultimate way to exchange the ball safely while under pressure, but it turns into a pick-and-roll, with you being the one who rolls to the basket as a possible receiver!
Reverse Dribble will certainly relieve pressure. The defense thinks they are winning by making you back up. But when the defender get hit by the sprint ball screen, he/she will change their mind.
Explaining Ball Handler Choices to Read & React Players
It is our sincere hope that we can provide you with every tool necessary to improve not only as a Read & React coach, but as a basketball coach as a whole. We look forward to working closely with you this season.