Eric Musselman Coaching Nuggets (Clinic notes, video, podcast w/ Coaching U)

Coach Musselman reminded me of the guy who gave me my first job, Shaka Smart, as a student manager. You can tell he cares and has a passion for what he is doing. Here are some coaching nuggets from Coach Musselman.

Eric Musselman, Blog (

LINK: Eric Musselman Clinic 2008


Pick-n-roll offensively and defensively

Offensive pick n roll

–  Work on this in your layup lines with pick n roll lines

Pick-n-roll angles




Step up


Double twist

On the move , off a screen

Strong side, corner filled

Weakside action

– gaggle

– bump off double down

– slip

Pick n rolls

-2 on 0 pick n roll

– 2 on 2 pick N roll – working on technique

– show

– hard hedge and contact show

– push up and under

– trap (toes to sideline)

3 on 3 pick n roll shell with 3-man rotaion

4 on 4 pick n roll shell with rotation

5 on 5 pick n roll defense vs live sets


– trap

Post defensive traps

– Determine where on floor is your post up “box area”

– Determine when you trap

–  on the pass

–  on the catch

–  on the dribble

–  on the move

– “bait” trap – fake trap and cut off passing lanes

– digs, stunts

Types of post traps

– “snap back” off passer who cuts

– X trap – 2 passes removed

– Y trap – first player

– Z trap – 2 players removed

– Big to Big trap

– hits – off designated man

Defending the post up of “Triangle offense ”

– ball pressure, sit in lap of post

We designate a color of our opponent.  Each player assigned a color in regards to the quality of shooter he is (e.g., superior, average, mid-range, non)

Defensive technique on

– Dribble handoffs

– Split action

Screener’s man is loose, defender receiving screen into body of

Defending “guard around” into and loose or into then under with support

Post defensive technique

– Butt front

– passer pressure hands in quarterback’s eyes

– weaksisde alert like a defensive back

– sit butt on post-up legs, hands up on butt front

“Special situations”


Define your best “inbound passer”

– full court, half court, 3/4 court

Defending inbounds

– staggered jump – deflections

– two defenders defend inbound pass

Special defenses vs special players

Special rules vs special players

Started with Chuck Daly and the “Jordan Rules”

– A . Iverson – on catch, pressure AI, other 4 to form a “box” on elbows and post blocks

– K Bryant – mix up

Vs iso –  Force right in the first half , force left second half

Vs post up – force baseline

Vs Stockton, C Paul, S Nash – trap right as they cross halfcourt the “face deny” don’t let them get ball back

Vs Ray Allen (and other good catch-n-shoot players) “Hover” hand of the ball

Vs D Wade – Anyone guarding him must have a foot in the paint

Free throw

Hammer play

Runner play

Jump balls

-read the tap – blind spot for each jump ball

– find and form your “alley”

Hammer play 

Play to score of the jump

Side out of bounds

– “50 set ” (50, 50 up, 50 down, 50 red, 50 double away)

– X play

Baseline out of bounds

4 o’clock (  lob )

Your team’s best lineup for…

– comeback game

– 3-point shooting

– pressure defense

– up 10 points with 5 :00 to go

– need a rebound

– playing with a 2 point lead

Special situation drill

  “Bubble drill”

7:00 on clock up 18 points. Team has lead has a bubble over basket so ball can’t go in.

Other team can score.

Team with lead must learn to take care of ball and run clock down.  Plus get offensive rebounds and defensive stops to hold the lead.

Example:  LA Lakers vs Boston Celtics at LA (Game 4, ’08 NBA Finals)

Best shots in an NBA game

– a layup

– a free throw

– a corner 3 point shot

Coaching U Live Podcast w/ Eric Musselman… Coaching U Live

Here is a short video on Coach Musselman’s coaching philosophy… 

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