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When to Come From Behind

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While doing some online research recently I came across the following blog post that I thought was very interesting:

Now I must admit that I'm a little confused as to the exact origin of this. At the beginning of the blog post it mentions that the results are based on a 10,000 game study but later in the post the author says it was the idea of Ed Schilling. Regardless of where it came, it's always good to have some type of predetermined plan, even if it's not this one.

If you like the formula mentioned above, here are the numbers with the math already done for you:

2:00 - 5 points

3:00 - 7 points

4:00 - 9 points

5:00 - 11 points

6:00 - 13 points

7:00 - 15 points

8:00 - 17 points

Now obviously this formula can only serve as a guideline as the actual time it takes to "come back" is going to depend on several factors including your personnel, your opponent's personnel, playing style of both teams, officiating, etc.

I once had a team several years ago that played their very best basketball when behind. We would often get behind by 10 or more points, switch to a four guards and one post lineup, and just run like crazy. We pressed, scrambled, dove on every loose ball, attacked every rebound and did anything and everything else we could think of to create havoc and chaos. The problem was that as soon as we caught back up and went ahead we just weren't as effective for some reason. I thought we played just as hard but we just never quite produced the same results.

So the challenge became deciding when to go into our "come back" game. If we started too soon there would undoubtedly be too much time left on the clock for us to protect our lead. If we started too late then we wouldn't have enough time to complete the come back! Ideally we wanted to time it just right so there would only be a couple minutes left in the game after we took the lead.

Of course we didn't want to just guess so we would set up different come back scenarios in practice to help us gauge how much time it would take to overcome a 10 point deficit, a 15 point deficit, and a 20 point deficit. We realized that we were competing against our second unit instead of our opponent's best players but at least it gave us a working point of reference.

The important thing is that regardless of whether you use someone else's predetermined formula or whether you use one based on your own trial and error, you have a plan! Hopefully you never have to use it but being over prepared is infinitely better than being under prepared! Plus, having a set plan in place and then working on it in practice is going to give your players a huge boost of confidence. In crunch time, it's often the team that is the most confident in its preparation that rallies together and wins the game.

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