Can Your Team Survive a Poor Shooting Game and Still Advance?

To win a tournament and then a state championship sometimes teams may have to survive a poor shooting game.

The question is how can they do that successfully.

Teams should be built on how to survive right from the beginning of pre-season as they certainly will have off nights during the regular season.

First, it starts with playing above average man-to-man (player-to-player) defense. This includes keep the ball, your man and you triangle when guarding a player without the ball, keeping your left hand up on defense when guarding a player with the ball, moving your feet and not reaching, being ready to help and recover on dribble penetration, closing out the 3 point shooter, finding your man to box out as soon as the offensive shooter releases the ball on a shot to be in good defensive rebounding position.

You may have an off game offensively, but there is never an excuse for having an off game defensively.

Good Defense is nothing more than, “The Desire to Perspire”.

Second, is always taking good shots that you can make and not praying/hoping that the shot will go in. Teams that consistently get high percentage shots but do not convert early in a game will eventually have success as the game continues.

Only take shots that you are surprised that you missed.

Follow your own shot for the offensive boards.

As long as a team is taking good high percentage shots then it usually is not a problem, it is a problem when they are not getting high percentage shots to miss that it becomes a real problem.

Being patient and not just relying on 3 point shooting, quick shots, forced, out of control shots is a big factor in surviving cold shooting.

Also, if a team is shooting poorly, then take the ball to the basket and try to get to the foul line. Many times getting to the foul line helps improve confidence and gets a shooter back his/her shooting touch.

Get the ball inside to the low post players as that is an easy way to get to the charity stripe.

Take more time with each offensive possession and wait for the good high percentage shot. The opponents can’t score when your team has the ball. Have a good continuity offense you can run to get good high percentage shots.

Teams that rely on the 3 in tournaments are really susceptible to having one bad shooting game in a tournament. Remember the old adage, “Live by the 3, die by the 3”.

Teams that rely on the 3’s are usually high school teams that take more than 25% of their field goal attempts as 3 pointers.

If the threes are not falling, they usually create major problems for the offense as the longer rebounds do not allow for offensive boards and many times start the other teams fast break.

The 4 current tournament sites do not have the closed in backgrounds as do most high school gyms and the depth perception is different for perimeter shooting.

Also, late in games fatigue can play a major part in poor 3 point shooting and foul shooting, especially on the longer floors at the tournament sites.

Teams that are prepared for a bad shooting game during the regular season are usually the ones that can survive a poor shooting game in the tournament’s, “One and Done” or “Win or go Home” format.

Can your team survive a poor shooting game and still come away with a victory and advance to next round?