Variations to the full-court man-to-man basketball pressure defense
Letís elaborate on this with Diagram D-6. Here, the floor is split to illustrate the difference between over-play pressure and the more traditional man-to-man defense, which has the defense playing between his man and the basket. In both instances, we will assume that the offensive objective is to get the ball to #5 in the middle, which is always a good place to get the ball.
In Diagram D-6A the offense has no problem accomplishing its objective. #1 can get the ball to the middle directly or through a pass to the wing who, in turn, passes it to the high post. In Diagram D-6B the immediate pass is contested. Even if #1 gets the ball to #3 despite defender #3ís efforts, we hope that defender #5ís overplay position will inhibit the #3 to #5 pass. Also, in Diagram D-6B, the offense is prevented from getting the ball into the high post. Defensive player #1 plays a key roll in this by forcing #1 toward the sidelines rather than allowing him to penetrate toward the middle.
There is nothing wrong with the defensive strategy shown in Diagram D-6A. Defensive players #3 and #5 could make it difficult for their respective assignments to get off a high percentage shot; however, since our strategy is to decrease our opponentís points per possession and increase our own, we stand a better chance accomplishing this goal by overplaying the immediate pass. Chances for a turnover are much greater in Diagram D-6B than in Diagram D-6A. At the same time, you should hope that your teamís aggressiveness, backed up with help support, minimizes the opponentís chances for a high percentage shot as well.
Use the single-man press as a surprise move. This will often result in a steal and quick score.
If you have a defensive player with the ability to play dummy, he can often catch the opponent with the ball off guard.
A sudden turn and a fast press forward by the defensive player, may catch the dribbler asleep and cause him to travel or possible steal.
Two clever, quick-footed guards can often apply a two-man press with good success. The main element of success lies in surprise and the suddeness of the attack.
The surprise is needed in order to disguise the intention to press so that other teammates will not come to the help of their two attacked teammates. The diagram on the left shows the two-man press whereby, defender #1 plays dummy and then charges the dribbler and forces him toward the sideline. There is when defensive teammate #2 darts back and covers offensive player #1.
The three-man pressure is applied when the opponent's big men are in the habit of advancing rapidly to their front-court, thus leaving two backcourt teammates to advance the ball. The two defensive chasers meet these players midway between the free throw circle and the ten-second line.
The defensive player opposing the player with the ball attempts to force him toward the sideline and turn his back to the front court. When this happens, the other chaser is expected to double-team the player with the ball.
Whenever the double-team is attempted, one of the defensive players guarding the opponents who have advanced to the front court will rush out to guard the open player in the backcourt. The remaining players assume zone defensive positions where they may be able to cover the players most likely to receive a pass.
How to coach the basketball man-to-man defenses
Variations of the full-court man-to-man defense
Drills for teaching the full-court man-to-man defense
Differences in guarding the players who are one-pass or two-passes away
Pivot defense inside and out with support
Transition drill: guarding against the back-door cut and All-Purpose drill
Keeping score of four-on-four drills and breaking them down
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