Defensive Drills: Paint Game

The following is from Chris Snyder, Head Boys’ Basketball Coach, Lakes Community High School:

We put a lot of emphasis on proper close outs on the ball and we also want to keep the ball out of the paint. This is a drill we use to work on that. It is a competitive drill that requires players to keep the ball out of the paint on the closeout. It is a great game simulation drill and requires strong closeouts to make sure the ball stays out of the paint!

Paint Game 001

• 1 passes out to 2 and closes out
• 2 tries to drive the ball and get two feet in the paint using two dribbles or less

Paint Game 002

• If 1 stops 2 from getting in the paint, he gets a point
• If 2 gets into the paint, he gets a point
• Either way, 2 will pass to 3 and 5 will close out on 3

Paint Game 003

• 1 (defensive player) will replace the offense, 2 (offensive player) goes to the end of the line

Paint Game 004

• Same process continues
• 3 will pass to 4, 6 comes out and closes out
• After 4’s possession, he will skip across to 1 to continue drill
• Play until a player gets a certain amount of points, great way to emphasize hard closeouts and keeping the ball out of the paint.
• Side benefit is offensive player working on using his dribble effectively.

Concepts for an Effective Defense

A good defensive team may take some chances in the full or half court areas. They may mix their defenses in various ways. But a great defensive team is always solid in the scoring area. If we make this commitment, we can be good as any team defensively.

To excel in team defense, you must be willing to do certain things:

• Put playing defense high on your list of priorities – have pride in playing it as an individual and team.

• Talk on defense.

• Be willing to give yourself up to help on defense. We are always defending against penetration; each man defends his man, the ball, and the foul lane.

• Be willing to identify with the rebound and loose ball.

• Have the courage to be physical – to put your body on people, to make the first hit on block outs, and to defend cutters.

Once we are committed as a team to playing the most consistent defensive game possible, our basic plan in setting our half-court defense then follows:

• Be a great transition team. Stop the fast break, easy sideline break, or easy early offense shot. Make the opponent have to play us 5 on 5, not 2 on 1.

• Push the ball to a sideline so we can establish a strong side defense. Then, we can set our weak side help defense and make the try to beat us on the entry side of the court.

• Stop easy penetrations and swings to the weak side by having our team defense set quickly. 

• Stop the low post attack. Prevent easy passes in and also prevent scores, if the ball does get inside (i.e. weak side help, trap, etc.).

• Rotate to cover up any opponent who was left open because one of our defensive teammates left to attack a penetrating drive or low post pass.

In the end, each player must commit himself to his teammates. He must be willing to say he will give his best to help his teammates get the defensive job done. It is not enough to say, “I’ll get mine, you get yours.” You must be willing to say, “I’ll get mine and yours too, when you need me.”

By being willing to give help to attack every penetration into our defense and to rotate to every open man we will be able to challenge every shot in good shooting range.

When the day arrives that each teammate feels we are going to war together and that each man has his teammates to back him up, we will have a team we can be proud of, and one that will win consistently.

Coach Quotes on the Importance of Defense

“You win in this league on defense.” – George Allen on the NFL

“Winning is more related to good defense than good offense.” – Dr. Jack Ramsey on the NBA

“My philosophy of defense is to keep the pressure on an opponent until you get to his emotions.” – John Wooden, UCLA

“It’s fun to play defense. It’s fun to watch the opponent sweat on offense, start complaining to the officials, and eventually be taken out of the game because he’s making so many offensive mistakes.” – Maury John, former college coach

“Defense is the great equalizer. It’s the chief characteristic of the champion and the trademark of the underdog.” – Dr. Jack Ramsey

Pete Carroll on Defense

“From the discipline and repetition comes the ability to improvise and be creative,” he said matter-of-factly. “If you try to be creative and improvise without the discipline, you have chaos. But once you have the discipline, once you take care of all of the details, you can play with it. You gain the ability to add accent, to improvise with trust and confidence, to make it into jazz.” – Pete Carroll

Doubling the Post

The following is from Coach Mike Neighbors, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, University of Washington. You can follow him on Twitter @CoachNeighbors.

As a result of graduation and injury, we have utilized double teaming of a dominate post player more this year than every before. It has forced us to become bet- ter at a skill we have never taught, drilled, or evaluated. It has forced us to simplify the endless number of possible ways teams may attack us as a result of the actions. Now 20 games into the season, while it’s still a work in progress, we at least have a plan that we try to execute.

When you make the determination that you will be using a double team on an opponent post player you are essentially saying to your team that we don’t have a defender who can effectively contain this player one-on-one. I realize there are certain times double teaming a turnover prone post player can be a valuable attack, but for our purpose today we are focusing on trying to contain a dominant post player.

PRIMARY DEFENDER
A) Push the post as far from post-up as possible… 6-8 inches can make a big difference with even the best post move
B) No angle to basket on catch… position body between offense player and the bucket
C) Active Wall-Up knowing the players go-to shoulder

DOUBLE TEAM DEFENDER
A) Awareness to move to trap on the air time of the post feed to be there on the catch
B) Velcro to the player showing both hands to official
C) Sprint out of the trap when pass is made

3 OTHER DEFENDERS
A) Cover the RIM
B) Cover the NAIL
C) Shade to best perimeter shooter

Varying the trap adds another element to the attack. You can vary the person who does the doubling and you can also take the double completely off if a post begins to anticipate being trapped.

We drill this with our normal shell defense sessions and also when we are scouting specific actions in preparation for games.

Using the 1-3-1 Zone Defense

The following is from the July issue of The Real AAU Basketball Magazine and Coach Matt Monroe:

The 1-3-1 Half Court Zone Defense is a great way to disrupt opposing offenses. It can effectively be utilized as your base defense or for special situations.
Benefits of Implementing the 1-3-1 Zone:

1. Teams have to prepare for you.
The majority of coaches spend most of their time in practice working against or on man-to-man defense. Although the use of zone defense has become more popular in recent years, man-to-man is still the most common defense teams face. Even if you do see a lot of zone teams, they more commonly play variations of the 2-3 or 3-2 zone. The 1-3-1 half court zone is a defensive look that teams do not have to see on a regular basis. Because of their unfamiliarity playing against the 1-3-1, your opponents will have to spend a considerable amount of time preparing to face you, while limited the amount of work they can delegate to other facets of the game.

2. There are a limited number of ways to attack the 1-3-1 zone.
There are two major reasons why there are a limited number of ways to attack the 1-3-1: there are a limited amount of variables when it comes to defensive rotations and since coaches don’t play against it frequently, a lot less time is spent at figuring out how to break it. Since there are a lot less ways to attack the 1-3-1, you don’t have to spend as much time prepping your defense from game to game, allowing you to focus on other parts of your game plan.

3. The 1-3-1 alignment makes it easy for your team to fill your fast break lanes and run in transition.
If you run a numbered fast break (#2 and #3 run wide, #5 rim runs, etc.), the 1-3-1 allows you to get into your primary break lanes a lot quicker since you’re already in set areas within your zone defense.

4. Your rotations and alignment can be modified easily based on the strengths of your individual personnel or the scouting report of your opponent.
There are many different alignments and adjustments that you can make to your 1-3-1 to get the most out of your defense. Different alignments and rotations can be effective to maximize the strengths and hide the weaknesses of your team. Changing the look of your 1-3-1 is even better for taking away the strengths and exploiting the weaknesses of your opponent. Several ideas for adjustments to your 1-3-1 are detailed later in this article.

5. The 1-3-1 zone works especially well against:
• Teams that rely heavily on dribble penetration
• Teams that run a lot of different man-to-man offensive sets
• Teams that don’t have a lot of time to prepare to play you (travel tournaments, second game of a Friday/Saturday double header, etc.)
• Teams that have one or two great individual players (flex or trap adjustments)
• Poor shooting teams, as the 1-3-1 forces opponents to take outside shots, thus lowering shooting percentages.
• Many others

To read the full article, please CLICK HERE.

Stan Van Gundy on Defense

The following is from a handout provided by University of Illinois-Chicago assistant men’s basketball coach Al Biancalana:

“There are no easy answers or miracle schemes that will be consistently effective with minimum effort. Great defense results not from great schemes but from the defensive commitment from the players and staff. To be a great defense team, we must trust our system and make it work. We must trust our teammates to do their jobs and make sure that they can trust you to do yours.”

- Stan Van Gundy, Head Coach, Orlando Magic

Miami Heat’s Defense Leaving Imprint on NBA

From ESPN.com:
MIAMI — If this low-scoring Game 1 of the NBA Finals is any indication of how this series will play out, it won’t be the way the Heat Voltronned together to form a superteam that’s a threat to the league — it’ll be the method they’re using to grip the championship trophy that strikes fear into those of us who enjoy basketball in its most free-flowing form.

It turns out the group Joakim Noah instantly labeled a “Hollywood team” is looking less like a J.J. Abrams production and more like a PBS documentary. The Heat are grinding opponents into submission with their defense, not overwhelming them with their offense. They’re more about the shutout than the shootout — as in the 3 1/2 minutes they held the Mavericks without a point in the fourth quarter Tuesday.

When it’s time to take over, they’re not even thinking about the offensive end.

CLICK HERE to read full article.

Defense Key for Bulls

From the Chicago Tribune:

There is little that is pretty about playing defense.

It takes sweat, hustle and commitment. And on the Bulls, you can often add hoarse-voiced screaming from coach Tom Thibodeau to the equation.

Nevertheless, when the Bulls defend like they did in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday night, sweat equity can be a beautiful thing.

READ FULL ARTICLE

E.L.C.

courtesy of “Words on the Bounce,” a great new Blog by Kyle Gilreath (@kylegilreath)

 

Ask any basketball coach in the world what they think is one of the most important factors to having a GREAT defensive team, and I would bet they will mention “Communication” somewhere in their explanation. While knowing your rotations, knowing personnel, and playing solid fundamental defense are truly key components; Communication is vital in order to become a great defensive Team.

I have been fortunate to coach at all levels of basketball (except professionally) in my young career, and at every level it seems one of the hardest things to teach is the importance of communication on defense. Now I know this is partly due to the fact that young players don’t think it’s “cool” to communicate on defense. However, I also feel that this is due to the lack of habits being formed at young ages.

Websters Dictionary defines habits: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. If coaches began preaching the importance of communication to grade school players and everyone began to do it, would it then become “cool” by the time they reached middle or high school and then college?

Constant communication is enforced at the highest levels of basketball. One of those enforcers is the new head coach at the University of Wyoming, Larry Shyatt. For those very few of you who do not know Coach Shyatt, he is an absolute Defensive Guru (He is the Tom Thibodeau of college basketball). During his time at the University of Florida, he introduced a three letter acronym that was preached almost on a daily basis: E.L.C. This stood for Early, Loud, & Continuous.

Read the rest of the article at http://bit.ly/lqQGBe