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Two Types of Dribble-Drive Penetration

April 9, 2012

There are typically two different ways a player is able to get to the basket.  I will define them as ball-handling dribble drive and aggression dribble drive.  The ball-handling dribble drive is the more difficult and more skillful type of the two.  Let me make a distinction.  The ball-handling dribble drive is when a player uses their ball handling skills to get to the basket.  It does not really too much on speed but on skill.  The aggression dribble drive is when the offensive player exploits the defensive player being out of position and then using his speed to exploit this advantage in order get to the basket.  The offensive player is taking good angles against the defensive player.

A good example in order to be able to visualize the difference is Jeremy Lin in his first season with the Knicks.  Lin’s style was the aggression dribble drive.  Once he saw an opening and an angle, he basically attacked the defensive player without hesitation.  This explains why he got to the foul line so much.  It is when Lin attempted the ball-handling dribble drive that he committed turnovers.  This is when Lin did not blow past his opponent.  An example of excellence in the ball-handling dribble drive style is Steve Nash.  He has full control of the basketball.

The ball-handling dribble drive is the more valuable of the two.  Players with this skill set have an easier time making passes in traffic as they are not going too fast compared to the aggressive dribble drive.  Additionally, when stakes are higher, the opposition also usually plays better defense and are less out of position making it more difficult to do the aggressive dribble drive.


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