47 Basketball Defense Tips (Become a Great Defender)

basketball defense

How important is basketball defense to you?

If you go to the park or the gym, most of the time all you’ll see is players working on their offensive game. Rarely do you see players down in defensive stance entire possessions anticipating passes and offensive movement.

You see, basketball offense is fun. It’s ‘cool’.

It’s the crossovers and dunks that make spectators stand up from their seats and cheer and get players excited.

But it’s basketball defense that will have a bigger impact on the amount of success you have individually and as a team.

I challenge all coaches and players to place more importance on the defensive end of the floor in games and practices.

Man-to-Man Defense (Complete Coaching Guide)

man-to-man-defense

The traditional man-to-man defense is by far the most common defense in the game of basketball today.

This is especially true as players progress to a higher level of competition. In fact, due to the great outside shooting of professional players, every NBA team almost exclusively plays man-to-man defense.

The man-to-man defense involves all 5 defensive players on the court being allocated one opposition player who they’re accountable for defending whenever they’re on defense.

Of course, there will be times when players switch opponents or help each other on defense, but for the most part, each player is responsible for one player from the opposition.

The Best Defense For Youth Basketball

The Best Defense for Youth Basketball

Let’s play a game.

We’re going to design the perfect defense for youth basketball…

Here are 3 important criteria I came up with off the top of my head that are imperative when designing a youth basketball defense:

1. The perfect youth basketball defense should prepare players for the next level.

2. The perfect youth basketball defense should allow players to experience all components of defense.

3. The perfect youth basketball defense should be easy to learn.

Are there any defenses you can think of that fit this criteria?

Run and Jump Defense – Complete Coaching Guide

Run and Jump Defense

The ‘Run and Jump’ defense is a full-court man-to-man press with rules that encourage jump-switching and trapping. It was first created by Dean Smith at North Carolina during the 1970’s.

This full-court defense is best suited for a team of athletes that want to play an uptempo style game. Big and slow teams should avoid this offense as the rotations require quick movements to be effective.

Box and 1 Defense – Complete Coaching Guide

Box and 1 Defense

Do you ever come up against teams with a single dominant player? One player that scores a majority of their team’s points every game?

When you do come up against a team like that, it’s the perfect opportunity to implement the box and 1 defense.

The box and 1 defense is a junk defense commonly used against teams with one great offensive player surrounded by players of less offensive talent.

1-2-2 Zone Defense – Complete Coaching Guide

1-2-2 Zone Defense

The 1-2-2 zone defense is a variation of the more commonly used 2-3 zone.

The main difference is that the 1-2-2 zone defense is a great defense against teams that score a majority of their points from the perimeter, whereas the 2-3 zone provides more inside presence.

This is because, in the 1-2-2- zone, all 5 defenders have a responsibility to guard an area on the perimeter.

This allows quick closeouts and the ability to contest every shot taken from the three-point line.

Therefore, the 1-2-2 zone is often used against teams that have strong guards and three-point shooters but aren’t strong on the inside.

1-3-1 Zone Defense – Complete Coaching Guide

1-3-1 Zone Defense

The 1-3-1 zone defense is a unique defense that is run by teams at many different levels. It’s been successfully run by many youth teams all the way up to college basketball where Coach Beilein uses it as his base defense for Michigan. In this article, we’re going to be discussing both the half-court 1-3-1 […]

1-2-1-1 Press (Diamond) – Complete Coaching Guide

1-2-1-1 Press Diamond Complete Coaching Guide feature

The 1-2-1-1 full court press is an aggressive full court press with many different variations that can be made to suit your team and/or to give you an advantage over the opponent you’re playing against.

Similar to a 3-1-1 press except that in the 1-2-1-1 press the front middle player starts close to the baseline pressuring the inbounder instead of starting around the free-throw line.

Click the title to read this article!

2-2-1 Press – Complete Coaching Guide

2-2-1 Press

The 2-2-1 press is traditionally a 3/4 court press. It gives your team great trapping opportunities while being a good press for containment and not allowing easy scores on the other end of the floor. Like all presses, the 2-2-1 press is best run against teams that lack a true point guard and aren’t great […]

2-3 Zone Defense – The Complete Guide

2-3 zone defense

The 2-3 zone is by far the most common zone in basketball and is more than likely the specific formation that will come to a coaches mind when they hear the term ‘zone’ relating to basketball.

The 2-3 zone defense involves two players across the top of the zone near each high post; these players are referred to as the ‘guards’ (1 and 2), two players a step outside of each block; known as the ‘forwards’ (3 and 4), and a player in the middle of the key referred to as the ‘center’ (5).