Finding the Inform Player in your Offense

Inform players can do some amazing things in games if given the right opportunities (Source: Kenneth Lu)
Inform players can do some amazing things in games if given the right opportunities (Source: Kenneth Lu)

A inform Player is an athlete within your team that is having a good game or series of games. A inform player or sometimes called the player with the “hot” hand is usually out performing what is usually expected from them within the game strategy. For this reason, defensive teams might be looking to deny this player the ball, while the offensive team will be looking to have this player take some more shorts to make full use of the good player form.


To try and counter the defences tactics in trying to eliminate touches by this player there are a few strategies that can help with finding this player in the team’s offense and continuing to give opportunities to this player.


The first and probably the simplest is just to have this player create deeper leads for the ball. When the defence becomes more and more intense, going back to what is simplest can sometimes provide the biggest rewards. Taking the player further and further away from the desired catching position and then looking to use a good seal will allow for the best possible opportunity to have the offensive player receive each and every pass. Perform a good v-cut often and enough and with the right technique and this will eventually wear down a defensive player.


The next option for freeing a player is to run interference while leading for the ball. This might be as easy as looping around a post player before leading to the desired catching position. Using a post player in this situation usually makes it just that little bit harder for the defence to maintain contact and positioning with the offensive player.


If the player is a perimeter player, then swinging both wing players through the keyway is sometimes a useful tactic. This allows again for the players to use the interior post players as informal screens and lead defenders on a long and pace filled chase to attempt to stop a pass from finding their man. This technique also has the advantage of making the lead for the ball an offensive scoring opportunity that will need to be defended differently to lead for the ball. When defending the basket the defensive player will need to remain between the offensive player and the basket, which is different to defending against the ball where the defensive player tries to remain between the offensive player and the ball or passer.


Another option that can be used (provided every player knows the various positions and the movements required) within an offense is to rotate players into different positions on the court. This is also sometimes useful in placing a player into a position that can create a mismatch or offensive advantage.  The other benefit from this tactic is that if a perimeter player is rotated into the interior then this will pull a traditionally stronger interior defender away from the basket if the existing match-ups are to be maintained.


A very easy strategy to help free a player from intensive denial defence can be to have the inform player to set screens. The screener is often forgotten about in many defensive situations, especially if the screen flares or pops. These movements, which are away from the basket, are often allowed to happen in lieu of defending the cutter using the screen and attacking the basket. For an inform player this might be all the space needed for another scoring opportunity to be presented.


There are a number of options to free a player from intense denial pressure. The last thing however, you want to have is the inform player becoming frustrated and pushing or grappling with the defensive player o get free. Keeping the player claim and giving options like those listed above can provide dividends.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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