Episode 289

Published on:

11th Oct 2023

Episode 289: Ryan Saunders, NBA Defensive Concepts and Techniques

Guest: Ryan Saunders, Denver Nuggets Assistant Coach

Denver Nuggets assistant coach Ryan Saunders shares insights on NBA defensive concepts and techniques.

In 2009, Ryan Saunders began coaching in the NBA, becoming an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. Starting in 2014, he was an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

On January 6, 2019, Ryan Saunders was promoted to interim head coach of the Timberwolves, also becoming the youngest head coach in the NBA for the 2018–19 season On January 8, Saunders got his first win in his debut as head coach when the Timberwolves defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, and became the youngest head coach to win in his debut since 1978. At age 33, Saunders became the youngest head coach in the league, despite having over 10 years of NBA experience under his belt 1.

After his tenure with the Timberwolves, his next stop was with the Denver Nuggets who hired Saunders as an assistant coach under Michael Malone. Saunders won an NBA championship in 2023 when the Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.


1:00 - Made this Team Special

3:00 - Unseen Hours

5:00 - Player vs Coach Led

8:00 - Challenges on One/Two Players

11:00 - Assistant to Head Coach Transition

13:00 - Collaboration with Coach Malone

16:00 - Head Coaching Opportunity

18:30 - Accountability on Defense

21:00 - Preferred Mechanism

25:30 - Personnel

28:00 - To Be Better Defensively

31:00 - Running Zone vs Modern Offense

34:00 - Certain Matchups

37:00 - Newcomers

41:00 - Triple Switches

43:00 - Zone concept of Bumping

Ryan Saunders’ Bio:

Bio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Saunders

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ryno_Saunders

Basketball Immersion

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/bballimmersion?lang=en

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/basketballimmersion

Facebook: https://facebook.com/basketballimmersion

Immersion Videos:

Check out all our all-access practice and specialty clinics: https://www.immersionvideos.com

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The Basketball Podcast
This is the podcast where you will hear real basketball coaching conversations. Whether you are a new or experienced coach at any level of basketball these coaching conversations will give you practical ideas to stimulate your coaching and make what you do even better.

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Rich Czeslawski