We talk a lot as coaches about finishing plays, but you can also tell your guys how you wan them to finish plays. You can’t count on everything happening exactly how you expect it to in a game, and you have to be able to react instinctively. We talk to our players about “finishing with hustle.”
We spend a lot of time working on scramble situations. Defensive rotations after we’ve doubled the basketball, 4 on 3 half-court defensive situations, odd-numbered transition breaks. As much as we work and prepare our guys to play a certain way, so much of the game comes down to your players being able to react to what happens on the court. They have to be able to make plays, and often they won’t be in 5 on 5 situations, simply executing a set play. The game is played at a fast pace in an intense environment and your opponent is out their to try and stop you, creating plenty of scramble situations where your kids just have to react.
There is no way to know exactly where the ball will come off the rim, where the defense is going to be, or where your teammates will be. “Finish with hustle” is a term we use to describe how we are going to react in these situations – no matter what comes up we are going to finish it on the run with great hustle. We are trying to avoid that 1 or 2 seconds where players relax and try and figure out what is going on and what to do next. We want them running, hustling, scrambling to try and find a way out no matter what just happened.
Finish every play with hustle. It’s a great way to get your guys thinking that no matter what happens, they aren’t going to stop competing until the play is over.