There are many different types of wing players in the game today. There are one trick ponies that can just catch and shoot the ball without having the ability to put the ball on the floor. There are the wings that can only slash/drive and not shoot. There are many combinations of different types of wing players to consider. Just like the point guard it is extremely important to identify skill sets of the wing player and question and try to map out a routine to develop their wing skills.
When working with young NBA players or draft hopefuls I to identify their skill sets and compare them to other NBA players. Again, I think it’s important to know the NBA up and down and be able to put players in different classifications. I try to sit players down and have them watch similar NBA players and show them a three game edit. I want them to understand how they have an impact on the game and how they generate their offense. By watching a three game full edit and not just a highlight tape this puts in better perspective what makes certain players successful.
As I did in the point guard breakdown yesterday I will show three different types of wing players. Again, it’s very important to watch as any different types of players as possible. In the following breakdown I put together edits on a catch and shoot scorer, a point forward that is a passer/elite athlete, and an elite shot maker that can get his shot whenever he wants from mid/deep range. It is so important to understand what a player’s make up is. Play to their strengths, but also have an understanding of their limitations as well.
BREAKDOWN- Kobe is pound for pound the toughest wing in the league to guard. First off he can make shots from anywhere on the court so defenders have to be able to take space away from him by crowding and over play on his jumper.His ability to create space by using jabs and fakes makes him a very tricky guy to guard. On one hand he can make shots from anywhere on the court on the other he can drive and open up the paint. With his ability to make shots opens up driving opportunities for 1-2 dribble pull-ups. That opens up issues with not only him making plays in the mid range but also finding weakside spot up players/post up players opening up when their defenders help off of them to try to get to Kobe. Kobe can easily convert mid range plays as well as use fakes to create contact and free throw opportunities. Lets not forget about his ability to score in the mid/low post as well as the elbow area. Even though The Triangle didn’t call for it a lot he’s a very effective pick and roll scorer/passer. At 6-6 he packs a tough punch to stop from the paint, mid range, and deep range as well.
BREAKDOWN- LeBron has unbelievable court vision. He could be one of the best passers in the NBA. His ability to handle the ball and get to the rim at will sucks in a lot of defenders. With a head of steam ahead of him James can breakdown almost any defense. When he forces defenders to suck in the paint to get at him, James can find open teammates at will. His mid range game is almost at the elite level from 12-17 feet. His size, strength, and athletic ability enables James to score in so many different ways in the mid range area. His use of fakes and jabs enables him to create space and opportunities for him to score and create for others. In isolation opportunities he can bully almost any wing player on backdowns and drives. When he is a liability is when he over dribbles and doesn’t go anywhere. Obviously pick and rolls and isolations is where he is most effective. His lack of post production is puzzling, but something that will improve. Obviously with his ability to handle the ball and change speeds transition offense is something that’s not new to him. His jumper is improving , but is very inconsistent.
BREAKDOWN-Ray is the poster boy for being a shot maker. He’s one of the best players in the league at being shot ready before the ball even gets to him. He’s a threat anytime he catches the ball to make a shot whether it’s coming off a pin down or spotting up on the perimeter. He does a great job moving without the ball and setting his defender up to get open. Players always over react on his jumper, so fakes are something that can open up off the dribble offense 1-2 dribble drives. Coming off pin downs opens up a lot of opportunities for Ray. He can get to that elbow and make shots, fade on defenders going over the screen, and can make passes to his rolling bigs when their defenders help on his cut. With his age his off the dribble offense on isolations is non existent, but his ability to make shots still makes him a very effective option on offense.
In Closing- Wing players are probably the most popular players to work with numbers wise. They come in many different shapes and sizes. There are plenty of ways a wing can get on the floor whether its as a shotmaker, driver, post up player, and many others. Again like anything else it is something that needs to be worked on and is a developing progression.
I hope this article helps. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter @hoopconsultants if you have any questions.