Kevin Eastman Coaching U Basketball Clinic Notes

Kevin Eastman Coaching U Basketball Clinic Notes


Kevin Eastman is going into his 10th year as an NBA assistant coach, and he comes with a wealth of knowledge for all levels of basketball coaching. His first 9 years in the NBA were with the Boston Celtics, but he has just this year moved to the LA Clippers. Coach Eastman is the co-founder of the Coaching U Live brand and feels it is his mission to give back to the game and help basketball coaches learn and grow in their profession.

These basketball coaching clinic notes will cover defense, and the title of the clinic session is “Building an NBA Defense.” No matter what level you coach at, it is important to understand certain defensive principles and areas on the defensive side of the ball that you should be emphasizing. Hopefully, these notes will help to give you some good insights and teach you more about defense. That way, you can apply these defensive principles to your team.


Basketball Coaching Clinic Notes


  • 1 full year of giving before you ask a favor of someone
  • He ends all his correspondence with “if you ever need anything from me, don’t hesitate to ask, and I will do everything I can to help”
  • Opportunity is everywhere; it’s just that you are not
  • “Must have knowledge of the old school, antennas up for the new school, and the ability to blend the 2 together”
  • Your advantage comes from your growth; your growth comes from learning, learning comes from your antennas
  • It’s not what you know; its what you bring
  • Cant motivate all the time, must find ways to inspire them as well

  • Fools Gold Transition Defense
    • Team gets back but not set
      • Set means, in a stance, below the ball, and seeing man
    • If 1 man is back, it’s a dunk
    • If 2 men are back, it’s a layup
    • If 3 men are back, it’s a contested 2
    • 4 men back = game on
  • 11 Tenets of transition defense
    • The raise of the shot starts our transition defense – 1,2,3 get back unless they are in the key
    • The First 3 steps must be sprint steps
    • Get below the ball as fast as you can
    • No buddy running
    • Get to shrink (help) spots as quickly as you can
    • Make the offense throw at least 2 passes
    • You are not guarding a man; you are guarding their team
    • Need communication in 2 ways – with voice and with finger
    • Must take away the early strike – first 6 seconds
    • Find and COVER shooters
    • In order to work, you must have a transition mindset
  • 8 Must-haves in your transition defense
    • Sprint back to be back – no jogging
    • Dominate first 6 seconds
    • 2 passes fine; 3 passes will win the possession
    • Guard theirs, not just ours
    • About the team, not the matchup
    • Losing teams use voices; winning teams use fingers
  • 5 things must eliminate in transition defense
    • Players complaining to official
    • Player missing shot
    • Celebrating shot
    • Instincts go to the glass – coaching philosophy
    • Gambles and misses
  • Ideal Possession
    • No penetration
    • No shot off a pass from penetration
    • No shot off the first 3 passes
  • Consecutive stops – 2 in a row
  • Multiple stops – 3 in row
  • 7 must-haves
    • Communication
      • Intimidates
      • Gives a head start
      • Gives man on the ball more confidence
      • Wakes up a disengaged defender
      • Catch mistake before it happens
      • Energizes your team
    • Trust
      • Teams that don’t trust foul more
    • Positioning, awareness, alertness
    • All about multiple efforts
    • Resolve
    • Communication system
      • Early, Loud, Continuous
    • Adjustment System
  • Trust on D is never having to turn around
  • Best coaches have the answers before the players ask the questions
  • Adjustment philosophy
    • 1x do it harder
    • 2x do it better
    • 3x takes out the game
    • 4x change coverage
  • Truism – doesn’t matter what D you want to play; it just matters if you’ll commit enough to make it work
  • 5 things must do to win on the road
    • must defend
    • must take away transition baskets
    • must rebound – especially defensive end
    • must have the defensive resolve
    • must eliminate turnovers
  • Must have the passion to succeed, but knowledge and skills must catch up with passion
  • 4 game-changers
    • 50/50 game – want to win 70% of these
    • Win the first to the floor game
    • Win the take charge game – 1 per quarter
    • Deflections – 6 per quarter
  • Games are won strong-side, championships are won weak side
  • If I were blind?? What would you hear in our practice
  • Shoulders game
  • Win last step
  • Know No’s
    • No middle
    • No layups
    • No uncontested shots
    • No ball watching
    • No buddy running
  • Mismatches don’t beat you; open shots do
  • Ball hits paint; we hit the body
  • Fouling negates hustle
  • Sprint to help. Sprint to rotations
  • Crowd shooters, cushion drivers
  • Fight instincts late in a game, stick to basics


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