The San Antonio Spurs are working hard to improve the team’s star player Kawhi Leonard’s ability to handle double teams. They turned for help to former NBA star Charles Barkley.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gave Leonard a CD with video footage of how Barkley used to beat double teams, USA Today reported.
Barkley himself loved the idea. He said he was honored.
“For Gregg Popovich to give a tape of me to Kawhi Leonard, that’s just awesome. It really is,” Barkley said. “I really appreciate that compliment,” said Barkley.
Barkley, who had to learn to beat double teams early in his career with the Philadelphia 76ers, also gave a spoken lesson on the issue.
“The way you handle double teams is you can’t fight them,” Barkley said. “That’s part of making your team better because it comes down to simple common sense. Do I try to score on two guys or do I pass the ball to an open teammate? There are guys who try to fight the double team and only two things can happen and they’re both bad. You can either take a bad shot and miss or you can turn the ball over.”
He further offered a few tips on how to avoid being double teamed: don’t pass the ball before the double team arrives, don’t give up the dribble until you know where to pass the ball, know from where the double team is coming.
“You have to have confidence in yourself that you’re going to make the right pass,” Barkley said.
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