One area many coaches and players neglect is offensive rebounds on missed free throws. The coach has told the player not to foul on the rebound so the player allows themselves to get boxed out the majority of the time.
Go back and look at some game film or just pay attention at your next game and you'll see the free throw go up and the defense will step in the lane while the offensive rebounder just stands there and gets boxed out. At some point in the players basketball career they were pulled for getting a dumb foul while going after a rebound on a missed free throw.
Now to be fair I do see players perform a spin every once in a while. The problem with the spin move is the offensive player loses sight of the ball and really doesn't have a good chance to rebound a miss since they can't see the ball.
The trick to getting more offensive rebounds on free throws is realizing that most defensive players assume the offensive player will stand there and get boxed out. This means that even if your team isn't as tall you can still have a chance at a rebound on a missed free throw. All you need to do is teach your players to move quickly across the lane and take advantage of a lazy or at the very least an unsuspecting defensive rebounder.
My teams have always done what I'm about to show you and we steal at least one rebound on missed free throws per game, while grabbing two or even three rebounds on missed free throws in some games. What makes this even more crazy is we line up our guards in these spots so we can press after a make and we still come up with at least one rebound on a missed free throw.
Here it is what I'm talking about. Below you'll seed the cross action you should use to get in front of defensive rebounders who occupy the bottom spot along with 3 keys to teach your players.
3 Keys To Offensive Rebounds On Missed Free Throws
- Decide who is going to go first once the ball leaves the shooters hand.
- Both sides need to line up at the very top of their free throw spot.
- The first cutter must shoot for the inside of the opposite rebounder and the second cutter needs to rub directly off the first cutter.
What typically happens is X3 steps back farther to box out player 2 and leaves an opportunity for player 3 to sneak in front of X3. When this happens X4 has tried to shuffle along side the cutting player 3 and leaves the right side of the lane wide open for player 2 to occupy. If player X4 doesn’t slide with player 3 there is a chance for player 2 to get in front of X4 just as player 3 did to X3. Either way rebounds can be had by the offensive team without getting called for a foul.
It doesn’t take much to steal an offensive rebound and keep a possession alive. You'll have the opposing coach all over his players for not boxing out is well worth the five minutes it takes to implement this strategy in practice.
One Additional Rebounding Tip On Free Throws
When shooting free throws in practice have your players pay attention to where rebounds on missed free throws go. This will help your team anticipate which side of the free throw lane the rebound may go.