Basketball: The Two-Minute Game Helps You Practice Late-Game Situations

Basketball: The Two-Minute Game Helps You Practice Late-Game Situations

Dixie Iverson for PE

Mike Malone, Assistant Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, recently discussed the value of practising specific late-game situations. He stated that many coaches mistakenly assume that their team will be able to execute any play they draw up at the end of a game, or will know which play to run if there are no time-outs left.

End-Game Scenarios
One way the Cavaliers develop their late-game skills is by spending about 10 minutes of each practice going through various scenarios that may occur during the last part of a game. They ask questions such as, "What will you do if you are down three, with 4 seconds left, and you get the ball from a baseline OB?" "What if the ball comes in from the sideline?" "What if you have to go the length of the court?"

Two-minute Games
The Cavs also play the following two-minute game in almost every practice. It's a fun way to prepare players for late-game situations and the pressure that's involved.

Divide your squad into two teams, each with a coach. Assume that the score is tied with two minutes left on the clock. Each team has two timeouts to attempt plays that have been developed by the coaches. The team that wins has bragging rights for that practice.

These two-minute games allow coaches to test different plays and strategies and see which are most effective. It puts your players in a game-specific situation and helps coaches determine which players react best to late-game pressure.

Good coaches are prepared for any situation, and their teams are prepared as well. Practising specific scenarios can help separate a good team from a great one.

Reference: "Coaching Tip of the Month with Mike Malone," Assistant Coach, Cleveland Cavaliers, Our Game, Volume 5, Issue 4, Canada Basketball.

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