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Episode 66: Mike Longabardi, NBA Defensive Concepts
31st July 2019 • The Basketball Podcast • Chris Oliver
00:00:00 01:05:18

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Mike Longabardi, NBA Defensive Concepts Guest: Mike Longabardi, Two Time NBA champion and Long Time NBA Assistant Coach In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, two time NBA champion and long time NBA assistant coach Mike Longabardi joins the podcast to discuss NBA coaching, with a focus on defensive philosophy, techniques and tactics. Coach Longabardi is currently an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. He was previously an assistant coach  for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, the Boston Celtics, and the Phoenix Suns, winning an NBA Finals championship with both the Celtics and Cavaliers. Career Highlights Won an NBA Championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and with the Boston Celtics in 2008 Worked with NBA All-Stars like LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, and Paul Pierce In each of his 7 seasons with Boston, the team was top 10 in DEF-RTG Five Eastern Conference Championships (2008, 2010, 2016, 2017, and 2018) Three Central Division Championship (2016, 2017, and 2018) Five straight Atlantic Division Championships (2008-2012) Has worked under Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau, Steve Clifford, Doc Rivers, Jeff Hornacek, and Ty Lue   Breakdown 1:00 - Specifics relative to Scouting Reports 2:00 - His Process on Game Adjustments 3:30 - Importance of a Defensive Mindset 5:00 - Practicing Critical Defensive Moments in a Game 8:00 - Need of Aggressive Packages and Adjustments 9:00 - Incorporating  Defense and Skill in Player Development 11:00 - Reading the Situation and your team 13:00 - Veteran vs Rookie 15:30 - Knowing your Players 17:00 - Basing this System on the NBA 19:40 - Non-negotiable 22:00 - When Lay-up Happens 25:00 - His learnings on the Defensive Side 28:00 - Dribble Hand-off and Switch 30:00 - Not Switching 32:00 - Defending the Short Roll 35:00 - Let the Players Talk to the Practice 37:00 - Baseline Inbound 40:00 - Sideline Out of Bounds Thoughts on Defending 42:00 - Teaching On The Ball Defense 44:00 - What is practice looking like? 47:00 - Players Need Efficiency in Practice 48:30 - Intensified Preparation During Playoffs 51:30 - 2-3 Zone on Inbound Takeaways 57:00 - Best Practice Now For Closeouts 59:00 - Ability of his Players to Drive 1:00:00 - Actions or Playing Scout For Players 1:02:00 - Conclusion   Mike Longabardi’s Bio Bio:    Basketball Immersion Website: Twitter: YouTube: Facebook: See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at