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Three Ways to Get Open on the Wing

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One of the most crucial areas of many offenses is also the least understood and under taught and that is getting open on the wing. Tell any young player to get open and the wing and he will often begin "dancing" with his defender back and forth from the wing to the block back to the wing and back to the block, etc.

This dance continues until the ball is either thrown away or until one of the "partners" finally gives up and the pass is completed or the point guard is forced to look elsewhere. If your offensive sets start with the ball on wing you absolutely have to get the ball there or all the work you've put in perfecting your plays and offenses will quickly go right down the drain.

Here are 3 ways to effectively get open on the wing:

In the first technique to get open on the wing, the offensive player simply starts on the block and breaks out to receive the ball. This is usually only effective if the offensive player is quicker and faster than the defender, or if the defender is not fully committed to overplaying the wing and denying the pass.

If neither of these scenarios is true then the situation soon turns into the "dance" we talked about earlier. The older and more athletic the players, the less this technique can be used effectively.

The second way to get open is by performing an L-Cut. The offensive player runs up the lane line, pins the defender with his inside foot and leg and then breaks out to the wing. It is also possible to just start at the free throw line, pin the defender like you are posting on the block and then break out to the wing.

The pass should be thrown to the offensive player's outside hand and the pass receiver should not move until right after the pass is made. (Leaving early will give the defender an opportunity to move towards the ball as well.)

The third and final way to get open on the wing may be the most effective even though it appears to be rarely taught anymore. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say this move is impossible to stop!

The offensive player simply starts on the wing, runs towards the middle of the lane and then circles back around his defender towards the wing. The defender cannot run in a circle and overplay at the same time. (If you don't believe me try it for yourself!) If he tries to stay on the high side the offensive player plants his foot and cuts back door. If he gets turned around (which is the usual outcome) then the pass to the wing will be nearly uncontested.

Using this technique is especially effective if you happen to run an offense that uses either a single or a double high post. If that's the case, the offensive wing can run a circle around his own teammate at the high post which will make it even more difficult for the defender trying to guard him.

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