“I'm a playmaker, and I'm going to score. At the end of the day, my job is to put the ball in the basket.” -The Flash, a.k.a. Dwyane Wade
“I Get Buckets,” is a term used far too often by today’s youth. Scoring, is an art form. We have all seen players score at a torrid pace for a short period of time. The few players that can get a basket, regardless of the help defense stacked against them, are special. The “40 Ball,” is chased by many, but attained by few.
Today we start a new feature series called “Running The Wings,” which discusses the the fine art of scoring from the wing spot (or shooting guard, small forward) on the floor. Make no mistake about it, the players in this section, get buckets.
Next up is Chris Ledlum. The dynamic scorer plays AAU basketball on the Adidas Gauntlet for The NY Jayhawks. - By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on Instagram and Twitter.
TheDribbleDrop:We have seen now, more than ever, the use of hybrid forwards that can defend multiple positions. Why do you think that is the case? Is it due to the lack of true bigs, or the fact that hybrid forwards provide room for a more versatile offense?
Chris Ledlum: I think coaches are demanding more from their players on both sides of the floor. Coaches aren’t sacrificing anything. They desire to play more athletic players that can create away from the rim if needed. More options.
TheDribbleDrop: As a wing, what do you prefer at the point guard spot alongside you: A pure passing point guard that is looking to set guys up and knock down shots, or a pick and roll heavy, ball dominant guard who will hit you in spots to knock down shots?
Chris Ledlum: I want to play with a Chris Paul type point guard. I want to play alongside a point guard who wants to get everyone involved.
TheDribbleDrop: Lets focus on defense real quick. What do you think is harder to deal with: having to switch on pick and rolls and defend point guards or battle a guy down low?
Chris Ledlum: I feel like both are challenging. I personally don’t think that one is harder than the other based on my build.
TheDribbleDrop: What is the ideal style of play based on your skill set?
Chris Ledlum: Offensively I like to do a little bit of everything. With that being said, I do like to get out on the break and create in space.
TheDribbleDrop:When you catch the ball in the half court, what is your ideal, go-to move?
Chris Ledlum: I like the rip and go with a strong finish at the rim. Foul me or the lay up is going in.
TheDribbleDrop:Tell me one great piece of advice you got from a teammate, coach, or older player you know that gave you a edge in the art of scoring.
Chris Ledlum: To keep your motor high and go hard no matter what.
TheDribbleDrop: A lot of kids do a lot of “Ball watching” nowadays. They know what to do with the ball in their hands, but they don’t know what to do without it. Do you think cutting hard and reading screens properly is a lost art with today’s youth?
Chris Ledlum: Definitely. You see it all the time. Many people when they give up the ball just stand there. Personally, it’s easier to create scoring opportunities when you don’t have the ball as people fall asleep. Cutting hard off screens or backdoor leads to a lot of easy baskets. I feel that many players lose sight of those things.
TheDribbleDrop: I always talk to kids about the three scoring levels offensively. Which level is it that you use the most right now?
Chris Ledlum: I’m a very physical guy. I like to play inside out and set the tone. I go to the rim early and often. From there I work in the mid range game and knock down threes when left open. I think reading the defense and not continuing the force it in the paint when things are muddled is key to success.
TheDribbleDrop: Who are your top five wings in the NBA right now?
Chris Ledlum: Lebron, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler. One up and coming wing I like is Devin Booker. He’s a bucket.