Wednesday December 12 2018
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Basketball: Lateral Movement

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The saying “defense wins games” rings true in most sports. Good defensive play often keeps less-talented teams in games. Basketball is no different.

Being a great defensive player in basketball is about attitude, intelligence and movement. It’s often hard to measure a player’s attitude or intelligence, and harder still to coach those types of intangibles. Movement ability, however, can be taught.

Defensive Position
Proper position is obviously important when it comes to moving correctly on defense.

Start with your feet slightly greater than shoulder width apart.

Bend your knees, keeping your back straight and vertical, not bent, till you are down as far as you can go. Then come halfway up.

Move the arms slightly outward from the shoulders and move the forearms parallel to the ground.

The hands should be slightly clawed – ready to handle the ball at any time.

Lateral Movement
Playing good defensive basketball requires good lateral movement, the ability to stop and change direction instantly without stumbling, and the ability to quickly rotate the hips.

The most fundamental movement skill is the lateral shuffle or defensive slide. Players will want to maintain good position in front of the ball handler and be able to change direction quickly. Maintaining a consistent hip height and creating optimal push-off and stopping angles with the lower leg are the keys to proper lateral shuffles.

The main thing to be aware of is the hip height. When the hips rise up during the shuffle, the feet are pulled up and away from the floor surface. When this occurs, in becomes even more difficult to change direction quickly. If the hips settle too low, then a great amount of energy is expended just getting back up into normal defensive position.

Led by a historic ground campaign, the Panthers humiliated Virginia Tech, running their way to a 52-22 demolition of the Hokies Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field, maintaining first place in the Coastal division.
Feature OneOn CampusPress RoomTop Story
CHARLOTTESVILLE — With an opportunity to separate itself in the race for the ACC Coastal title, the Virginia football team failed to overcome myriad mental and physical errors and its depleted defense was unable to hold up in the second half of a 23-13 loss to Pittsburgh on a soggy Friday night.
Feature ThreeOn CampusPress RoomTop Story
Casey DeSmith stopped all 39 shots he faced, while Sidney Crosby racked up a goal and an assist as the Penguins dominated Arizona in a 4-0 shutout win at PPG Paints Arena Saturday night.
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NEW YORK (AP) — After setting a career high for points last season, Josh Bailey has picked up right where he left off. Bailey scored a short-handed goal in the second period and then the only goal in a shootout to lift the New York Islanders over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Thursday night.
Blue LineFeature FourPress RoomTop Story