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How to coach a basketball team offense against a man-to-man press Part 2 (continued)

Work within the least margin-of-error theory, getting the hell out of the way and allow the best dribbler and ball handler to dribble the ball up-court. If the best dribbler does have difficulty, a second option is to let another athletic offensive player with a weaker defender bring the ball up-court. Perhaps this teammate is the other guard, or a forward, who can dribble the ball up-court alone. Against man-to-man pressure, a good dribbler will use a controlled dribble, change of direction, and reverse dribble.

The good dribbler can beat most defenders one-on-one if he can control his defensive man until he gets to the front court. If he is double teamed there, he should try to pass into the pivot. The pivot player must protect the ball and pass it quickly, usually to a weak-side cutter or back to the man who passed it in.

Players must know the intent of the team playing man-to-man pressure defense full court in order to prepare to combat it. The usual reasons for playing this type defense are:

  1. To intercept the pass by overplaying the men on the court.
  2. To prevent penetration by the good ball handler by double-teaming him and forcing the ball toward a weaker ball handler, playing intercepting angle to prevent the ball from being passed back to the good ball handler.
  3. To harass the receiver for a violation or misplay.
  4. To invite the long pass for interception.
  5. To delay the offense in the back court for a ten-second violation.
Attacking Full Court Man-to-Man Pressure, Best Dribbler Takes Ball Up-CourtDiagram 1 - Attacking Full Court Man-to-Man Pressure, Best Dribbler Takes Ball Up-Court.

3, 4 and 5 are up-court. 1, the best dribbler takes the ball out-of-bounds. He passes it inbounds to 2. Player 2 immediately returns the pass to 1 and immediately clears up-court. (Both 2 and 1 use fakes to decoy the defensive players away from their intended positions.)

Player 1 dribbles up-court, using reverse dribbles and protecting the ball. The positions of 1 and 2 could be reversed.

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