Every practice I like to work on finishing drills, especially through contact.  Here are a few of my favorite finishing drills.  I pick one or two every practice and run them for 3-4 minutes each, depending on time.  Players can get a lot of reps in a short amount of time.  I find that these drills develop a finishing mentality with your players and help them to play through contact and not rely on a ref’s whistle.  Also, you can emphasize how you want to defend in these situations so as not to foul and put players on the line.  You can always make it competitive by scoring individually or by team.

  1. And 1s:
    – Drill starts with a defensive player at the elbow on the inside of the lane line closer to the basket.
    – Defensive player is holding a ball in his palm presenting it to the offensive player who is in front of him at the elbow outside of the lane line.
    – By “presenting” the ball, the defensive player is signaling that he is ready for the drill to be live.
    – Offensive player takes the ball out of the defender’s palm and attacks the rim looking to finish through or around the defender. I like to implement a 2 dribble limit so it’s a quick attack to the rim.
    – Emphasize going game speed and making quick decisions as if on a fast break. Also emphasize not being afraid of the contact. You are not looking to get fouled. Ref may miss the call. You are looking to finish and get And 1s.
    – Once that group clears out, next 2 players step in. The offense and defense lines are simply behind the elbows leading towards half court
  1. Wall Up:
    – Set up an offensive player on one block and a defensive player on the other. Coach is on defensive side.
    – Coach tosses the ball over the rim to the offensive player’s side.
    – Offensive player jumps for rebound (instead of letting ball fall to him). Defender lets him rebound but “walls up” to the ball – hands straight to the ceiling to defend the offensive player’s finish.
    – I like to implement a 1 or 2 dribble limit since the paint will be congested in the game.
    – You can emphasize how you want players to defend – wall up or block shots, whatever is your preference. Offensive players can use whatever post moves you emphasize in practice.
    – I work this with bigs and smalls.
    – Offensive and defensive lines are simply waiting above elbows so players have room to play.
  1. 3 man wall up:
    – Same drill as above but now there are two defenders – one on each block, with an offensive player in front of the rim.
    – Offensive player grabs rebound and finishes over two defenders.
    – Rotations go from right block defender to offense in middle to left block defender then off.
  1. Iversons:
    – Set up one offensive player on one elbow and a defender on the opposite elbow
    – Coach is at the top of the key with a ball
    – On coach’s signal, both players cut to the rim
    – Coach passes to one player (his choice) who tries to finish over the other player as if receiving a pass on the break
    – No dribbles allowed
    – You can emphasize 1 leg or 2 leg power finishes
  1. Cross layups:
    – This is a full court drill
    – 3 lines on the baseline with ball in middle
    – Middle passes to wing who immediately passes back to middle
    – Middle now passes to opposite wing player who should be ahead of the play
    – Initial wing player sprints up to defend the full court finish
  1. 2 on 1 in the lane:
    – Start with an offensive player on each elbow facing the basket, a defender in the middle of the lane facing offense and a coach under the rim with a ball
    – Defender is not allowed to look back at the coach
    – Coach passes to either player on the elbow
    – Players play 2 on 1 simulating a fast break
    – I like to implement a 2 pass limit
    – Player with ball must have a scorer’s mentality and not have a preconceived idea of passing or finishing.  Player must draw defender.
    – The other offensive player must be ready to receive a pass and finish
    – I try to emphasize to my defender that we are not at a disadvantage if he can stunt at the ball and simply delay a shot until his teammates can get back on D
    – For more advanced teams, you can start below the elbow to force players to make quicker decisions
    – Player who shoots or turns over the ball becomes defender and two new offensive players come on