Completing More Passes

To avoid having passes intercepted or deflected, you must read the defense and release the ball at the appropriate time.

Reading the Defense

When passing to a teammate, you must learn to see the defense, that is, be aware of the those opponents who are in a position to intercept the pass. Whether or not you execute the pass depends on what your opponents do when you initiate it. For example, if, as you initiate a pass, an opposing player moves to block the passing lane, do not execute the pass. Check out my tip in the Offense category, Initiating and Executing.

Knowing what your teammate, the intended receiver, is likely to do next, that is, when and where he/she will likely call for the ball, will help you to focus on what the defense is doing.

Passing at the Right Time

It is very important to pass so that the receiver and the ball arrive at the same moment at the spot on the court where the pass is to be caught. For example, the opposing team is pressing. You have the ball in the back court. A teammate cuts into the middle lane, coming to a stop 15 to 20 feet ahead of you. The ball should arrive just as the cutter is stopping. Passing it after the cutter stops provides an opponent with more time in which to move into the passing lane.

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