How To Play Defense In Basketball

How To Play Defense In Basketball

As the old saying goes "defense wins championships". And great defense in basketball leads to turnovers and easy baskets on the other side of the court. Follow these steps to learn how to play defense like a champion.

Step 1: Talk On Defense

Communication is the most important element of team defense in basketball. Players must communicate when to switch off their man off a screen or that help is needed on a drive. Without great communication, your defense will have holes like Swiss cheese.

Step 2: Man To Man - On The Ball

You want to establish which way you want to push your offensive player. Stay arm's length away so you don't get burned and put one hand out in the passing lane, one foot slightly in front of the other. Give yourself some space to cut him off.

Step 3: Off The Ball Defense

If the ball is dribbled into the perimeter step off your man to cut off the penetration. Then help and recover to prevent your man from getting off a shot. If your man doesn't have the ball, drop off and cover the lane to avoid any dribble penetration and easy baskets.

Step 4: Post Defense

Start out free throw line extended and body up your man. Don't let him establish position on the block, make him work for that position. If he establishes position, you'll want to deny the ball, deny the entry pass from the top. If a player dribbles to the corner, you'll want to do what is called a step front and over to the baseline side to deny a pass to the baseline. As the ball is passed back to the perimeter, you'll want to rotate around the man and establish the top deny position again. If the entry pass does come in, then that's when you want to establish a strong post defense with a forearm bar in his back and your other hand up in the passing lane forcing the player to the middle where you should have your teammate waiting to help.

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