Article-of-the-Month: “INDIVIDUAL and TEAM DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWN DRILLS”

TECHNIQUES USED IN

THE TOP TWO INDIVIDUAL and TEAM DEFENSIVE

BREAKDOWN DRILLS

—THE “SHELL” & “PRIDE” DRILLS

By Coach John Kimble

Article 92H  

“ 4-on-4 SHELL DRILL”

(A TEAM DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWN DRILL)

 

  1. Vs. Positioning (without Post Players)

Proper Stance, especially off of the ball.

Determining one or more passes off of the ball

Determining whether the ball is above or below the FT line extended to straddle the proper “line.”

Setting up in the “ball-you-man” flat triangle.

“Jump to the ball” as quickly as possible (to form new triangles).

  1. Vs. Positioning with one to four post players (LP and/or HP Post)

Proper Stance, especially off of the ball.

Determining one or more passes off of the ball

Determining whether the ball is above or below the FT line extended to straddle the proper “line.”

Setting up in the “ball-you-man” flat triangle.

Low post defenders should be on the low side in a ¾ front IF the ball is in the deep corner.

Low post defenders should be on the high side in a “3/4 front IF the ball is above the mid-post “height.”

Do not change from “low to high” or “high to low” from behind.

Create a “parenthesis” and swing around in front going “belly to belly” to get into the correct position.“

Jump to the ball” as quickly as possible (to form new triangles).

  1. Vs. Give-n-Go Cuts

Jump to the ball to get in the denial stance and form the “ball-you-man” flat triangle.

Yell “Help !! Help!!” Snap the head and the new “long arm” to deny the quick return pass.

Adjust positioning and stance after the initial cut to play support helpside defense.

  1. Vs. Backdoor Cuts

Don’t “bite” on the first step of the backdoor cut.

Snap the head and the new “long arm” to deny the backdoor cut pass, before then moving the feet.

Yell “Help !! Help!!”

Snap the head and face the cutter. The defender should “match hands and belly-buttons.”

Look down the new “long arm” to deny the pass.

Adjust positioning and stance after the initial cut play support helpside defense.

  1. Vs. Clear-outs

Snap the head and the new “long arm” to treat the clear-out as the backdoor cut pass, before then   moving the feet.

Yell “Help !! Help!!”

Snap the head and the new “long arm” to deny the pass.

All off-the-ball defenders should yell “Clear-out.”

Adjust positioning and stance after the initial cut play support helpside defense.

Anticipate action from the ballside in the form of isolation dribble-drives or post-ups

  1. Vs. Skip Passes

Every defender should jump to the ball to create the new “ball-you-man”flat triangles.

Every defender should always be able to see both the ball and their man.

Do not follow the flight of the ball. Anticipate where the ball will land.

Sprint the first half of the distance and then close out under control by chopping down the steps.

Run towards the inside shoulder of the pass receiver with the defender’s hand up opposite of the pass receiver’s shooting hand.

  1. Vs. Killed Dribblers

Step up on the killed dribblers and aggressively pressure ball-handler.

Trace the ball with both hands.

If the defender steps away from the pressure, the defender should never relinquish the ground that was surrendered by the Ball-handler.

Bump the ball-handler with the chest but don’t reach in to pick up a “cheap foul.”

  1. Vs. On the Ball Screens

The ball-defender should hear, feel and anticipate the coming ball-screen.

The ball-defender should go ballside of the screen by first getting a foot over the top of the screen.

He/she then should “skinny” a leg over the top of the screen, then the hips and then the body.

The ball-screener should warn the ball defender and then step out as if he/she would trap or switch the screen.

The ball screener’s feet and the two feet of the screener’s defender should form a straight line with the inside foot of the defender being on the inside of the screener’s outside foot. (This will prevent the screener from rolling to the basket.

The defender is also there to make the Ball-handler either kill his/her dribble, commit a turnover or at least bow out away from the screener.

  1. Vs. Down and Cross Screens

All off-the-ball defenders should “jump to the ball” and instantly form the new “ball-you-man flat triangles.”

Every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man.

The defender guarding the cutter that is receiving the screen should remain active and turn sideways to become a more difficult target for the screener.

He/she should go with his/her belly into the cutter with his/her long arm and look down the long arm.

He/she should go “ballside” of the screen.

The defender on the screener should form his/her “flat triangle” and then “single-space” so that his/her teammate is can slide between the screener and himself.

He/she should even help his/her teammate by pulling him/her through.

He/she then must be aware of the screener “slipping the screen” and stepping towards the basket or flashing to the ball.

  1. Back Screens

All defenders should again “jump to the ball” when the pass is made and every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man.

When the cutter makes a cut to the basket , the defender should treat the cutter similar to a backdoor cutter.

Snap the head and face the cutter.   The defender should “match hands and belly-buttons.”

Look down the new “long arm” to deny the pass.

Because of the back-screen, the defender on the cutter should go ballside of the screen and then treat   the pass as a form of a backdoor cutter.

All defenders should then adjust positioning and stance after the initial screen and the cut to play the new off the ball defense.

  1. Vs. Flex Back Screens

All defenders should again “jump to the ball” when the pass is made and every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man.

If the defense is anticipating the “Flex” type of back-screen, he/she should drop back towards the original ballside low post on the original “up-pass.” He/she should line up on the high side of the post screen back-screener. This takes away the high cut off of the back-screen and forcing the cutter to cut off of the back-screen only on the low side.

The defender on the back-screener should hedge and help take the high cut off of the screen away from the offense. He/she should still anticipate the screener setting the screen and then ducking in towards the ball to become the potential pass receiving threat.

When the ball is reversed, and the cutter makes a cut to the basket , the defender should treat the cutter similar to a backdoor cutter.

He/she should snap the head and face the cutter and force the cutter to go low. In this case, he/she is not going on the ballside of the back-screen.

The defender should “match hands and belly-buttons” and then look down the new “long arm” to deny the pass.

Because of the back-screen, the defender on the cutter should then treat the pass as a form of a backdoor cutter.

K   Vs. “Shuffle-Cut” Screens  

All defenders should again “jump to the ball” when the pass is made and every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man.

When the cutter makes a cut to the basket , the defender should treat the cutter similar to a backdoor cutter.

Snap the head and face the cutter.   The defender should “match hands and belly-buttons.”

Look down the new “long arm” to deny the pass.

Because of the back-screen, the defender on the cutter should go ballside of the screen and then treat the pass as a form of a backdoor cutter.

The defender on the back-screener should hedge and help take the high cut off of the screen away from the offense. He/she should still anticipate the screener setting the shuffle-screen and then cutting to the ball to become the potential pass receiving threat.

All players should adjust positioning and stance after the initial screen and the cut to play the new off the ball defense.

L. Vs. “Wheel Cut” Screens

All defenders should again “jump to the ball” when the pass is made and every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man.

If the defense is anticipating the “Wheel-Cut” type of back-screen, he/she should drop back towards the original ballside low post on the original “up-pass.” He/she should line up on the high side of the post screen back-screener. This takes away the high cut off of the back-screen and forcing the cutter to cut off of the back-screen only on the low side.

The defender on the back-screener should hedge and help take the high cut off of the screen away from the offense. He/she should still anticipate the screener setting the shuffle-screen and then cutting to the ball to become the potential pass receiving threat.

When the ball is reversed, and the cutter makes a cut to the basket , the defender should treat the cutter similar to a backdoor cutter.

He/she should snap the head and face the cutter and force the cutter to go low. In this case, he/she is not going on the ballside of the back-screen.

The defender should “match hands and belly-buttons” and then look down the new “long arm” to deny the pass.

Because of the back-screen, the defender on the cutter should then treat the pass as a form of a backdoor cutter.

All players should adjust the positioning and stance after the initial screen and the cut to play the new off the ball defense.

  1. Vs. “Scissor Cut” Action Off Of the Post

All defenders should again “jump to the ball” when the pass is made and every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man.

When the cutter makes a cut to the basket , the defender should treat the cutter similar to a backdoor cutter.

Snap the head and face the cutter.   The defender should “match hands and belly-buttons.”

Look down the new “long arm” to deny the pass.

Because of the cut off of the post player with the ball,, all defenders on the cutter should go over the top on the same side of the ball that the cutter goes. The defenders should then treat the pass as a form of a backdoor cutter.

The post defender should play directly behind the post player with the ball and soften up his/her pressure so that he/she could take either cutter that is given the ball.

All defenders should then just re-position themselves and get into the new proper stance after the screen and the cut.

  1. Vs. UCLA Rub-off Screens

All defenders should again “jump to the ball” when the pass is made and every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man. When the cutter makes a cut to the basket , the defender should treat the cutter similar to a backdoor cutter. Snap the head and face the cutter.   The defender should “match hands and belly-buttons.”Look down the new “long arm” to deny the pass. Because of the cut off of the high-post player, the defender on the cutter should go ballside of the screen. The defenders should then treat the pass as a form of a backdoor cutter. The high-post defender should play directly behind the post player with the ball and soften up his/her pressure so that he/she could fake a switch on the cut. He/she should then “single-space” and pull his/her defender through (on the ballside of the high-post” screen. If the cutter goes on the opposite side of the high-post screen, he/she should then go ballside of the screen and then “single-space” with the screener’s defender before then cutting diagonally to intercept the cut of the offensive player. All defenders should then just re-position themselves and get into the new proper stance after the screen and the cut.

  1. Vs. Flare Screens

All defenders should again “jump to the ball” when the pass is made and every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man.

When the cutter does not make a cut to the basket but instead cuts away from the ball and remains on the perimeter; the defender should anticipate the flare screen.

The defender on the cutter should go ballside of the flare screen and then treat the pass as a form of a skip pass. He/she therefore should go ballside of the screen and close out in the same manner as he/she would with a skip pass.

  1. Vs. Pin Screens

All defenders should again “jump to the ball” when the pass is made and every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man.

When the cutter makes a cut away from the basket , the defender should initially treat the cutter similar to a backdoor cutter.

That is, he/she should snap the head and face the cutter.   The defender should “match hands and belly-buttons.”

Look down the new “long arm” to deny the pass.

Because the cutter is running away from the basket, the defender can “puppy-dog” immediately on the heels of the cutter which will allow him/her to avoid the screen. He/she will trailing directly behind the cutter, but if he/she hustles, he/she will be in the pass receiver’s face by the time the cutter catches the ball and then squares up to then face the basket.

The defender on the pin-screener should position himself/herself so that he/she can deny the pin-screener the ball from any passer.  

All defenders should then just re-position themselves and get into the new proper stance after the screen and the cut.

  1. Vs. Stagger Screens All off-the-ball defenders should “jump to the ball” and instantly form the new “ball-you-man flat triangles” and able to see both the ball AND their particular man. The defender guarding the cutter that is receiving the screen should remain active and turn sideways to become a more difficult target for the screener. He/she should go with his/her belly into the cutter with his/her long arm and look down the long arm.He/she should go “ballside” of the screen.The defender on the screener nearest the ball should form his/her “flat triangle” and then “single-space” so that his/her teammate is can slide between the screener and himself. He/she should even help his/her teammate by pulling him/her through. The defender on the screener that is furthest the ball also forms his/her “flat triangle” and is ready to be able to help the defender’s cutter. He/she should be position himself so that he/she could be able to defend the screener. He/she then must be aware of the screener “slipping the screen” and stepping towards the basket or flashing to the ball.
  2. Vs. Interior Lane Exchange Cross Screens All off-the-ball defenders should “jump to the ball” and instantly form the new “ball-you-man flat triangles” and able to see both the ball AND their particular man.   The defender guarding the cutter that is receiving the screen should remain active and turn sideways to become a more difficult target for the screener. That defender should take away the low side cut and force him to go “high.” He/she should go with his/her belly into the cutter with his/her long arm and look down the long arm. He/she should go over the top of the screen. The defender on the screener should form his/her “flat triangle” and initially position himself to take away the high cut and then “single-space” so that his/her teammate is can slide between the screener and himself. He/she should even help his/her teammate by pulling him/her through. The defender on the screener should then be aware of the screener coming back to the ball, most likely to the low side. He/she then must be aware of the screener “slipping the screen” and stepping towards the basket or flashing to the ball.
  3. Vs. Flash Post Action All off-the-ball defenders should “jump to the ball” and instantly form the new “ball-you-man flat triangles” and able to see both the ball AND their particular man. Every post defender should anticipate that his man will flash either high or low to the ball to post up. Those defenders should use the back of the hand in the chest of their man to “see” their man and to keep their man from “getting into the feet and body” of the defender.
  4. Help-n-Recover (G to G)The defender is one pass away and should be in denial stance. He should always be in a “ball-you-man flat triangle” and able to see both the ball and his man. When the dribbler penetrates, that defender should jump in to the gap. As soon as he lands, he is ready to jump back to his own man. Physically he is helping on the ball, but mentally he is already going back to his own man. He is looking also for that penetration kick-out pass. From there, he will “fan the ball” towards the sideline.                                            
  5. Help-n-Recover (G to F) The defender is one pass away and should be in denial stance. He should always be in a “ball-you- man flat triangle.” When the dribbler penetrates, that defender should jump into the gap where the dribbler is heading. As soon as he lands, he is ready to jump back to his own man. Physically he is helping on the ball, but mentally he is already going back to his own man. He is looking also for that penetration kick-out pass. From there, he will “fan the ball” towards the baseline.
  6. Help-n-Recover (G to C) When the pass is made inside to the post player, the original ball defender should jump inside quickly and momentarily. As soon as he lands, he is ready to jump back to his own man. Physically he is helping on the ball, but mentally he is already going back to his own man. He is looking also for that kick-out pass. From there, he will “fan the ball” towards the sideline or baseline. He should never completely turn his back on his man, but instead turn sideways so that he can see both men. He should reach in with a fist and swing at the ball from the bottom up (to prevent a slap down foul on the post player.)
  7. Vs. Baseline Drives All off-the-ball defenders should “be in the proper “ball-you-man flat triangles” and able to see both the ball AND their particular man. The defender on the ball should be overplaying the dribbler in the prescribed defensive strategy. If the Ball-handler drives the baseline, the ball defender should yell “help!” and be running alongside the dribbler. The helpside forward should rotate from the proper “ballside line” and across the lane to attack the dribbler along the baseline. These two defenders should trap the ball with a “no lines, no splits” technique and “trace the ball.” The helpside guard quickly rotates down to take the original helpside forward’s man. The original ballside wing denies any pass out of the trap. If the ball is passed out of the trap, the original helpside forward rotates out of the trap to his original man.
  8. Vs. Pipe Cuts or Zipper Cuts All off-the-ball defenders should “be in the proper “ball-you-man flat triangles” and able to see both the ball AND their particular man. The defender on the ball should be overplaying the dribbler in the prescribed defensive strategy. The defender on the cutter should stay between the cutter and the ball in a one pass away denial stance. All off-the-ball defenders should “jump to the ball” and instantly form the new “ball-you-man flat triangles.” Every defender should be able to see both the ball and their particular man. He/she should go with his/her belly into the cutter with his/her long arm and look down the long arm.
  9. Box-Outs on the Shooter Defender on the “dummy” shooter sticks a hand up to alter the shot but not block the shot. That defender does not leave the ground until the shooter leaves the ground.When the shooter starts to follow his shot, the defender should make a front pivot directly into the path of the offensive rebounder. The defender should make contact “butt to gut” and hands up. His elbows are there to “hold” the opposition. The hands should be up to grab the ball and to keep from holding the rebounder. The head should be kept up to find the ball. Ball defenders should make short choppy steps to stay between the ball and the opposition.When the ball is secured, the original defender should “chin” the ball and front pivot away from the opposition before making a 2-hand outlet pass.

Z . Box-outs on the “Ballside”  If the defender is guarding an offensive player that is one pass away, that defender should anticipate that his man will go after the offensive rebound in the direction opposite of his denial stance. Therefore, he should reverse pivot off of his back foot. That defender does not leave the ground until the shooter leaves the ground.All defenders should make contact “butt to gut” and hands up. His elbows are there to “hold” the opposition. The hands should be up to grab the ball and to keep from holding the rebounder. The head should be kept up to find the ball. When the ball is secured, the original defender should “chin” the ball and front pivot away from the opposition before making a 2-hand outlet pass.

  1. Box-outs on the “Helpside” Defender on the “dummy” offensive player that is on the opposite side of the court should first be in the proper “ball-you-man flat triangle” and always see both the ball and the man.

When the defender sees the ball being shot, he then crosses the lane (under control) and runs at the opponent’s inside shoulder—the shoulder opposite of the baseline. He should make contact outside of the free throw lane.

Running at the opponent in this overplay method allows that defender to anticipate that his man will go after the offensive rebound along the baseline. Therefore, he should reverse pivot off of his top foot-the foot opposite of the baseline foot.

All defenders should make contact “butt to gut” and hands up. His elbows are there to “hold” the opposition. The hands should be up to grab the ball and to keep from holding the rebounder. The head should be kept up to find the ball.

There should be short choppy steps to stay between the ball and the opposition.

When the ball is secured, the original defender should “chin” the ball and front pivot away from the opposition before making a 2-hand outlet pass.

  1. Transition from Defense to Secondary Fastbreak from Defensive Rebounds

All five defenders should first wait until the ball is secured before then sprinting into their assigned offensive fastbreak lanes.

Look to move the ball ahead to any teammate that is ahead of the ball.

Look to attack the opposition’s defense on the interior first.

Look for all options of the Primary Fastbreak before then having a transition into the Secondary Fastbreak.

Look for all option of the Secondary Break before then flowing into the designated continuity offense.

  1. Transition from Defense to Secondary Fastbreak from Turnovers      

All five defenders should first wait until the ball is secured before then sprinting into their assigned offensive fastbreak lanes.

Look to move the ball ahead to any teammate that is ahead of the ball.

Look to attack the opposition’s defense on the interior first.

Look for all options of the Primary Fastbreak before then having a transition into the Secondary Fastbreak.

Look for all option of the Secondary Break before then flowing into the designated continuity offense.

  1. Transition from Defense to Secondary Fastbreak from Made Shots  
  2. Transition from Defense to Secondary Fastbreak from Made Shots    

All five defenders should first wait until the ball is “in the net” before then sprinting into their assigned offensive fastbreak lanes.

The designated “Trigger” should quickly take the ball out of bounds and look to throw to anyone open.

Look to move the ball ahead to any teammate that is ahead of the ball.

Look to attack the opposition’s defense on the interior first.

Look for all options of the Primary Fastbreak before then having a transition into the Secondary Fastbreak.

Look for all option of the Secondary Break before then flowing into the designated continuity offense.

 

‘DEFENSIVE PRIDE’ DRILL

The “Pride Drill” can predominantly be an individual defensive drill that works on defensive techniques and skills. In addition to that, this drill is important in developing a tough hard-nosed attitude for every defensive player, as well as establishing a high intensity level for each player. With the physical and mental effort that this drill requires, the drill also becomes a great conditioning drill. We also wish to incorporate offensive fundamental work into the drill (to add offensive work and additional intensity for both the offense and the defense). This drill, when properly performed by both the coaching staff and the players, will produce what the drill’s name is—that is pride in how well the players play defense.

Some of the offensive fundamentals and techniques that we can work on are the different kinds of screens, cuts, passes, and other offensive fundamentals that are used in every game. The various types of dribbling that we expect our players to be able to use in games are heavily worked on. The dribbles that we believe our players should use in games and should practice daily are: ‘behind-the-back’ dribbling, ‘between-the-leg’ dribbling, and ‘front-crossover’ dribbling. We constantly are emphasizing the proper techniques of all of these offensive fundamentals that are utilized in this drill. Each player is required to always go at “game speed”.

The Pride Drill can be expanded in different manners. One form of expansion is described below.

The drill is started with offensive restrictions for two important reasons. One reason is to allow the defense an opportunity to succeed before making the drill more difficult and more “game-realistic” as the defenders progress in developing skills and building confidence. The second reason for giving offensive restrictions is to force the offensive players into working on specific ball-handling techniques on which the coaching staff feels that either the team or individuals need to improve.

One way of making the drill more difficult (and therefore more “game-realistic”) is to lengthen and widen the dribbling area. At the beginning, it can be shortened and narrowed to promote success for the defenders. As the defenders master the defensive skills and techniques, the drill can be made more challenging and “game realistic” by expanding the offensive dribbling area. We try to use the ‘overload theory’ in all of our drills to make the drills as tough as possible physically and mentally. The intensity level, the pressure, the competition, the demands, the ‘game-speed’ is to simulate game realism. If players can handle these demanding drills, they will be better prepared to handle the pressures and challenges that in an actual game. We want the games to be easier than the drills.

As the players develop their confidence, their ability level, and the proper techniques; we can expand the area used in The Pride Drill. When the drill area can be widened and lengthened to using the full length of the court, the drill can also then be expanded into improving on the many different defensive techniques being applied during the course of the Pride Drill.

Some of the defensive techniques that can be worked on and emphasized in the Pride Drill are: 1] taking the charge, 2] defending a “killed dribbler”, 3] defending a cutter [on a give-n-go situation], 4] boxing out a shooter [off of the dribble], 5] recover after the dribbler has actually beaten the defender, 6] diving for loose balls, 7] closing out on a potential driver/jump-shooter,   8] defending against an ‘on-the-ball’ screen, 9] defending against an ‘off-the-ball screen’,   10] helping out on a teammate’s man and then recovering onto his own man, 11] sprinting out of a ‘trap’ situation and picking up his own man, 12] “wolf” deflecting from behind and getting ahead of the dribbler, 13] jump-switching onto the new dribbler.

These and other defensive scenarios can be practiced at the very beginning and at the very end of the ‘dribbling area’. Different situations can be used every time at the beginning and at the end of each ‘offensive trip’ down the lane both offensively, as well as defensively. This keeps all players involved mentally alert and focused.

Some of the offensive scenarios that or offensive players can work on at the beginning of the ‘offensive trips’ are: a] simply receiving a normal pass,   b] receiving ‘off the ball’ screens before catching the pass, c] shot-faking after receiving the pass, but before starting the dribble-drive, and d] after catching a pass and then receiving ball screens.

During the ‘offensive trip’, the dribbler may be asked to work on and/or use a specific type of dribble, or a to make a specific type of pass to a coach and the running a ‘give-n-go cut’.

At the end of the ‘offensive trip’, the dribbler may be required to shoot the ball, or charge into the defender, or kill the dribble, or roll the ball across the floor (to simulate a loose ball fumble).

It must be clearly stated that the defensive techniques that can be emphasized in the Pride Drill must be taught to the players first before they are stressed and emphasized in any drill.   Once they are taught, they can be practiced and worked on, in this and other particular defensive drills.

Here is an example of the different ‘defensive trips’ that your team can work on. Different combinations should be changed daily. This will help all players learn how to listen and follow instructions, both offensively and defensively.

On the first trip down the court, the dribbler and the defender can create a situation where the defense must defend the new dribbler after he has received skip pass.

The defender starts in a ‘pistol’ stance, as if he were playing helpside defense and his man is more than two perimeter passes away from the ball. A coach could then skip-pass the ball to the defender’s man. This would then force the defender to start the first trip by ‘closing out’ on the new receiver-dribbler. The dribbler now zig-zags down the dribbling area (with the defender applying the proper ‘on-the-ball defensive techniques’. When the dribbler gets to the end of the lane, the defender then draws an offensive charge on the dribbler. The dribbler can simply put the ball into the chest of the defender to establish the physical contact required to initiate the offensive foul. There does not have to be any other physical contact between the two players, thus decreasing the risks of injuries to either participating player. When the ball has made the contact with the defender, the defender pushes off on his heels, falling to the floor. In drawing the charge, the following points of emphasis should be stressed to the players: 1] protect the groin and chest area by locking your arms in front of those two areas, 2] push off backward with the heels at the exact moment of contact, 3] tuck the chin, 4] try to slide on the tail on the floor, 5] raise the legs up into the chest area to protect from the offensive player landing on the defender, 6] grunt out an “ugh!” to help the official make the ‘charging’ call. The drill then continues with a new pair of players. We have the offensive player help the defender up after taking the charge.   The first pair of players go to the end of the line and switch defensive-offensive roles. SEE DIAGRAM 1.

The second trip could begin with the main defender starting as a “one-pass-away” off-the-ball defender.

The ‘dummy dribbler’ should dribble into the gap of the two defenders. The main defender then helps” (to stop penetration) and “recovers to his original man as his offensive opponent receives the pass. From there, the defender uses the proper “push-push-push” and “drop step” techniques as he zig-zags down the dribbling alley. When the dribbler reaches the far baseline, he kills his dribble. This causes the defender to defend a “killed dribbler”. The major points that are highlighted in defending a “killed dribbler” are: 1] stepping up hard into the ‘killed’ dribbler and forcing the potential passer to put the ball over his head or to turn away from the hard defensive pressure that is being applied. This takes away the majority of the potential pass receivers that the passer has, [And remember that the passer has only 5 seconds to find that open receiver and make the pass to him] 2] cross-face with the hands and prevent the passer from bringing the ball back down to waist or chest level, 3] we want the defender to yell “”work!, work!, work” and pressure the passer as much as possible. SEE DIAGRAM 1.

The third trip can be initiated with one or two ‘dummy-screeners’ “ball-screening” the defender.

On the third trip down the defensive lane, the defender is still working on the proper ball defender’s techniques with his feet and his hands. The proper stance is stressed with the proper “push” technique of the feet legs. The “dig hand” and the “extended hand and arm” techniques are constantly reinforced. The defender must feel for the screen and ‘go over the top (ballside of the screen) and hustle to stay or get ahead of the dribbler. After turning the dribbler several times down the dribbling alley, the dribbler passes the ball to a coach or manager who is standing near the midcourt line. As soon as that pass is made, the dribbler-passer becomes a cutter-receiver. He makes a very hard “give-n-go” cut toward the end of the alley. The defender has to become a defender against a receiver (instead of a dribbler) and defend the ‘give-n-go’ cut. The defender should “jump to the ball” and “match hands and belly-buttons”. He should yell “Help!” and snap his head and look down his new ‘long-arm’, attempting to see the ball and his man. The dummy passer should force a pass to the give-n-go cutter, resulting in either a completion, a pass deflection, or an interception.

The fourth trip could start with an ‘off-the-ball’ screen on the original defender.

He should go ‘ballside’ of the screen, “skinny and slide through with a ‘long-arm’”. The defender should go full speed but allow the pass to be made. Once the pass is completed, the dribbling and the defensive zig-zagging starts again down the dribbling alley, with both players working on their respective techniques. At the end of the fourth trip, the dribbler jumps and shoots the ball at an imaginary basket several feet in front of him (to simulate a jump shot off of the dribble). At the end of this trip, the defender works on defending a shooter and also boxing out a shooter. The defender defends against the shot by: 1] not leaving the ground until the shooter leaves the ground, 2] extending the hand [nearest the ball] and arm as high as possible, 3] front-pivots into the shooter and boxes out the shooter. The defender should maintain contact on the shooter for 3 seconds before quitting. Cardinal rules that we stress to our defenders on the shooter are: a] don’t foul a jump-shooter’, b] don’t leave the ground until the shooter leaves the ground, c] don’t give the shooter a second scoring opportunity.

On the fifth trip down the floor, the dribbler is allowed a two-step advantage on the defender.

The ball defender works on the premise that the offensive dribbler has beaten him and he is to recover and continue guarding the offensive player. The defender must realize that he is beaten, pivot and open up, get the correct pursuit angle and sprint to a spot ahead of the advancing dribbler. He then must get in front of the dribbler and be “squared up” on him, knowing that the dribbler will then most likely try to change directions. He should anticipate another defensive change of direction. The “point of emphasis” teaching phrase we use at this point is to tell the defense “they are there physically, but mentally they are already drop-stepping toward the new direction by the dribbler. The dribbler then continues “zig-zagging” down toward the far baseline. At the end of the trip, the dribbler simulates a fumbled loose ball.   After the dribbler kills his dribble, he simply rolls out a ball for the defender to dive after—simulating a fumble.

Obviously, this is definitely a defensive-minded drill that requires effort from both all players as well as coaches. But the drill can be enhanced by having the dribbler working with both hands on the various types of dribbles the coaching staff allows. The head should stay up, with the body in a semi-crouch, dribbling quickly but not in a hurry. The various dribbles used could be any or all of the following: 1] the front crossover, 2] the between-the-legs dribble, 3] the behind-the-back dribble. The coaching staff could instruct the dribblers to use specific dribbles to improve upon, or a combination of them to work on offensive improvement.

Coaches should constantly be moving up and down the coaching alley, (SEE DIAGRAM A), as they constantly are teaching, correcting, cheering, motivating, and leading (by example). The more ‘points of emphasis’ and excitement the coach staff can generate and demonstrate (by example) the more motivated the players will be.   Players will feed off of other players’ and coaches’ intensity level and desire. Enthusiasm, desire, and effort all are contagious and will spread throughout the team. Coaches should be demanding, detailed, and offer constructive criticism whenever it is needed, but positive in their teaching the techniques. It is very important that coaches work hard at being a good example to the players in the proper levels of intensity, excitement, energy, and their own effort during the drill.

 

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