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THAT OLD BACK MAGIC
Herbert Warren Wind
January 16, 1956
Some of Cousy's offensive variations
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January 16, 1956

That Old Back Magic

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Some of Cousy's offensive variations

Backhand pass is one maneuver Cousy may employ when, leading a 3-on-2 attack, he reaches the foul-line area and finds his route to the basket blocked by a defensive player. As this sequence shows (from right to left), he flips the ball in mid-dribble to a trailing teammate cutting behind him, then either cuts for a return pass or simply stops dead to set up a screen for a teammate.

Behind-the-back transfer is a Cousy exclusive. When he whips the ball behind his back with his right hand, on some occasions the defensive man, anticipating that Cousy will get off a pass, shifts to cover the whole play. Cousy, as in this sequence, then may complete the behind-the-back transfer from his right hand to his left, and, with the way open, lay up the shot himself.

Double transfer is employed if the defensive man between Cousy and the basket elects to stay with Cousy and so leaves one of the other Celtics unguarded. On completing his first around-the-back transfer, Cousy brings the ball around a second time with his left hand and passes to the free man. Such moves require discretion; he cannot overdo them or the defense would be prepared.

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