Rebounding: Win The Paint

Rebounding is as important as any other factor in the game of basketball. Limiting a team to a single shot per possession and gaining extra shots per possession can be the difference between a win and a loss.  A good rebounding team is often a disciplined and determined team.

This part of basketball reminds me of line play in football.  A defensive rebounder could be compared to an offensive lineman protecting the quarterback.  Conversely, the offensive rebounder could be compared to a defensive lineman trying to get to the quarterback.  Some of the moves (and combo- moves) taught to offensive rebounders are very much like moves used by defensive football players to get by offensive lineman (swim, spin, etc.).

Good to Assume

There are some common denominators shared between offensive and defensive rebounding.  On both sides of the ball, players must read the shot, react to the shot, and ALWAYS assume a miss.  A player should attempt to retrieve the basketball at the top of their jump.  The phrase "2 and 2" refers to jumping off two feet and grabbing the ball with two hands. This promotes strength and balance. After landing, the player should "chin the ball" and successfully complete the next play.  Rebounding can be described as a "war for the paint".  The offensive team is trying to get in, while the defensive team is trying to keep people out.

Building Habits

Defensive rebounding is an extension of your team defense.  On a shot attempt, good rebounding teams " make first contact".  Whether in man or zone, on-the-ball or off-the-ball, good defensive rebounders escape the paint and find a body to prevent from obtaining the ball. Different techniques are taught to block-out the offensive player.  Some coaches teach only an arm-bar to the chest while others teach a reverse pivot into the body.  Regardless, the habit must be repeated and emphasized daily throughout a season.

Caught on Tape

Great rebounders are relentless in their pursuit of the ball.  Most are skilled at predetermining the most likely location of the rebound by the location of the shot attempt.  "Out of area" refers to an offensive rebound that is captured far away from the location the player started at the time of the shot attempt.  Teams gauge offensive rebounding effort by the attempt to "get around" any block out. Any player (seen on film) in the middle of the back of a defensive player attempting to block out, will likely be encouraged to try harder to "get around".

If You Don't Believe Me

"We stop practice every time we see one of our players not blocking out."– Coach Jim Calhoun

"I feel all great teams have two things in common: defense and rebounding.  So, we stress defense and rebounding every day as the most important aspects in the game to win." — Coach Larry Brown