FIBA Americas: Dribble Handoff of the Dominican Republic
In today’s FIBA America game between the Dominican Republic and Canada, the Dominican Republic relied heavily on the dribble handoff getting them open looks from the three point line. This action got them several looks but luckily for Canada, they could not convert enough of their long distance shots to win the game.
First, let’s look at how Canada wanted to defend this action. They wanted the defender on the offensive player who was handing the ball off to jump out and hedge on the offensive player who is receiving the ball. With the secondary defender going under the handoff, this will prevent an open shot until the defender can recover (or they can straight switch on the handoff, as they did in the following play).
This worked several times to defend the dribble handoff. The problem Canada faced was staying in front of the dribbler to cut off the lane to the basket and not being available to jump out on the handoff, as we will see.
Now let’s look at a few times when the dribble handoff worked to get open looks. The key to a successful dribble handoff is selling the dribble action to keep the defender in front of the ball handler. This will prevent the defense from hedging on the handoff, as we saw worked in the first play.
A second key is the ball handler setting a semi-screen on the secondary defender. The ball handler has to be careful not to run into the defender, as this will often result in a moving screen. The ball handler just has to get in the way of the defender to hold them up for a second to allow the shot to be attempted.
Here are two clips of the offense executing this handoff. They got several good shots off the handoff but they could not always knock down the open shot, which contributed to their loss. Watch how the ball handler goes hard at his teammate, forcing the defender to move his feet to stay in front and prevent the defender from hedging on the handoff.