Art Of The Fake

Posted: January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

Kevin Eastman

    I have had the pleasure of coaching and observing Chris Paul since Doc Rivers took the LA Clippers job this past summer. Watching Chris has reinforced just how important it is that you and your players really study what the best players are doing at their respective positions. (On another note, I also encourage you to study those players who may not be as gifted as Chris Paul, as those overacheivers can teach all players some valuable lessons as well.)
Chris has mastered the art of faking. Based on what I see every night, one of his best forms of faking is with his eyes.  Many teams in the NBA will teach their teams in pick and roll coverages to read the eyes of the ballhandler in order to get a jump on their rotations. Chris understands this and uses this knowledge to his advantage. He will lock his eyes in a particular direction and on a particular player knowing full well that he will get the defense to commit that way. The entire time, though, he is getting ready to pass the ball to another player that will now have that split second of freedom, which is all an NBA player needs to get his shot off.
What I have found at this level is that players use every advantage they can find to be the best they can be. The art of faking is important to the point guard position as they have the ball in their hands a large percentage of the time. The best players in this league have mastered not only the eye fakes but also:
* the pass fake
* the head fake (as part of the shot fake)
* the foot fake (jab step)
* the voice fake (“use me, use me” — then they slip the screen)
These are just a few of the fakes that are being used at the NBA level. Even though they are very basic, you can now tell your players that these small aspects are important in the NBA so they should be important at your level.
Finally — do not miss the main point of this post. Chris Paul used his eye fakes to his advantage because he studied the game and knows how the defensive emphasis is on reading the eyes in order to get a jump on your rotation. There is a purpose to the fake. It is not about showboating to look away. It’s about studying and knowledge brought to the court to win! 

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