One of our biggest problems was transition defense.  So here is one of the basketball defense drills that we do called four man touch the line. This is a great drill for offensive transition, and defensive transition.

We work some real simple drills that focus on stopping ball above the 3pt line, make the guard make a decision, or pass that will slow down the offensive transition so we can set up in our half-court defense.

Four Man Touch the Line Drill

  1. I will line four defenders along the free line extended and have four offensive players on the baseline.
  2. I have the ball.
  3. I will call two defenders numbers it could be 1,3, or 2,4 or 2,3 anything in that sequence.
  4. They have to touch the baseline, while I throw the ball to anyone of the offensive players.  It becomes a 4-2 break for the offense.

We teach the closest defender to the ball picks up ball, and next defender get to the mid-line to defend first pass.  So if I call 1,2 and they touch baseline, defender three will be closest defender if I throw the ball to players 1-3.

The defenders who touch baseline try to get back and pick up while the other two quote “protect the basket”.  If they do that job, then we will match-up.

The offensive team gets four possessions, and I tell them they have to score on 3 out of 4 possessions or there are consequences.  And if the defense gives up lay-ups on more than one possession then they will run.

We stress wanting to make them take jump shots in transition, and no easy looks around the rim.
Hope this helps limit transition buckets.

NOTE: I think it helped us communicate a little better, because our defenders are left to a 4-2 break, and it makes the guys that are touching the line want to get there to help their teammates out.

Limiting a certain amount of transition buckets will certainly give you a chance to win the ballgame, and making a team execute out of the half-court is a lot harder than just out running.

The way the game has gone to the up-tempo style makes me think about our transition defense as the most important aspect of our defensive philosophy.

Want some more defensive ideas to use in practice? Then go read this new article I just posted: Drills For Basketball Defense