Of course, the [tag]basketball[/tag] [tag]half court press[/tag] (1-3-1) this is similar to the 1-3-1 [tag]full court press[/tag], but it does have a few additional features. One of the best features is the ability to disguise this press as a 1-3-1 zone defense. Here are some of the other reasons you should think of running the half court press as opposed to the full court:
• This press has less of a tendency to give up big baskets, but also provides pressure to the opposing ball handler.
• You can integrate this press into your normal defensive set up, and simply alternate when you decide to use the trap.
• It is not as easily broken as the full court press, because it is more compact.
But, it does have weaknesses, as well:
• No backcourt pressure
• If beaten, leaves a 4 on 3
• Players must be quick and disciplined to make it work, or it will get beaten all of the time.
Still, integrated into a 1-3-1 zone defense, this press is widely used by basketball teams at all levels.
Once again, this player draws the responsibility of influencing the dribbler to go one way or another. This is especially important in the half court press, because if they decides to go up the middle, then there may be a gaping hole left there because players are missing – trying to set up the trap.
The 1 man is the key to getting this press to work. They must use their quickness and agility, and their deceptiveness to try to coax the opposition ball handler in the direction the want them to go.
2 and 4 man
These players need to be on their toes in order to make this press work. Unlike the full court press, where it takes time to develop, this press must be put on immediately once the ball has reached the front court. If the 1 man is doing his or her job, then the 2 man should have no problem sealing off the sideline, preventing a drive or a pass.
These players have to be quick and they have to be able to read the play. They don’t want to give away the press by setting themselves up too quickly, but they do need to be in the right place at the right time to double team the ball handler.
This is the center fielder once again in this press. When the press is at the top of the front court, the 3 man simply stays at home waiting for a pass that might try and go to one of the corners. In the half court press, the 3 man’s job is fairly straightforward – intercept passes.
The 5 man has a unique responsibility, not initially, but once the half court press reaches it second stage, they will be called upon to trap down low on the perimeter. When the first press is being attempted, they may want to cheat to the side of the press, in order to cover the pass that may go down low.
You will see the role of the 5 man in the diagrams following.
The first part of the trap is self-explanatory:
• The 1 man influences the ball carrier to go to one side or the other (preferably the weak hand side) and then sets the court side of the trap.
• The 2 man waits until the dribbler is in the corner (depicted by the dotted line) in order to spring the trap. It should be quick and decisive so it either forces an error in dribbling, or it forces a bad pass.
• The 3 man will be waiting in the center to intercept a pass that might be made through the center of the court. They should also watch the offside back corner to make sure no one gets through.
• The 4 man moves up to cover the pass back to the other guard, or small forward. This will often be the pass that the double-teamed ball handler will make
• The 5 man cheats to the side of the trap, waiting for a pass down low.
If a pass is made to the low man on the perimeter, the press will shift into the second trap shown in the diagram below.
The transition is simple: 2 and 5 execute the trap, 3 covers the center pass, 4 covers the basket, and 1 covers the pass back to the perimeter.