Today we’re going to talk about defensive schemes that create an up-tempo style. There are 5 keys I like to focus on – things that can be done in the half court defense that speed up a basketball team.
1. Getting your defense set
I like to play up-tempo because I want to get the game to where we have a chance to possibly win by 10 or 15. Playing up-tempo creates that opportunity for you. But getting your defense set is a key.
2. Ball pressure
The second thing that’s a key to basketball defense is ball pressure – keep pressure on the basketball. Even if you play a sagging defense at the other spots, when you’re guarding the ball, put pressure on it. Because if you don’t, you’re going to see the ball getting thrown into the post. You’re going to see guys cutting and the ball getting to those guys. You’re going to see openings that sometimes don’t exist.
If you’re guarding a motion team, one of the best ways you can defend a motion team is put pressure on the ball so those screening and slipping don’t see their opening because of the pressure. So pressure on the ball is the second key.
3. Stopping penetration
The third key is stopping penetration. As much as you’re trying to pressure somebody, it does no good if he just blows by you and its suddenly 5 on 4 all the time. So containment, stopping penetration is a key.
And there’s different ways to do this. There’s the dribble penetration, where you want to take away passing penetration when guys cut. You don’t want guys cutting in front of your face. And you want to make sure you don’t let guys get into a rebounding position where they cut in front of you. You don’t want the ball to go inside easily.
4. Always challenge shots
The fourth thing that you want to do is always challenge shots. Getting a hand up on a shot, and making that guy a little bit more hurried, is going to help your defensive field goal percentage.
5. Finish with a defensive rebound
And the last thing that I think is really important is to finish your defensive possession with rebounds. You can do everything right, all of the things I just talked about, but if they missed a shot and they put it back for a lay-up, it’s all for naught.
These are the key things that you want to work on every day.
If you’re looking for some new drills for basketball defense, make sure you check out this video covering The Animal Drill – it’s one of my favorite all-time practice drills, and combines shooting, rebounding, defense, toughness and aggression!
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