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HomeBasketball DrillsPack Line Defense Drills

Breakdown Drills for Teaching the Pack Line Defense

By James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net

The pack line man-to-man defense is designed to clog the seams and stop the dribble-drive. It is a gap defense, that still puts pressure on the ball. This page presents a number of breakdown drills for teaching the pack line defense. But first see the Pack Line Defense article.

1-on-1 Drill

On-ball defenders must become proficient at containing the dribbler 1-on-1. See the diagrams 1-3. X1 hands the ball to O1 and O1 tries to score. O1 is only permitted three dribbles (this is also a good drill for offensive players to work on their dribble attack). If X1 stops the offensive player (diagram 2), the offensive player goes to the back of the line, and X1 hands the ball to the next player in line, and now O2 attacks X1.

X1 continues defending a long as he/she gets stops. The goal is three consecutive stops, and then everyone but the defender (the winner) does five push-ups. If the offense scores (diagram 3), then X1 goes to the back of the offense line, and the player that just scored becomes the new defender, looking for three stops.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 1-on-1 basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 1-on-1 basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 1-on-1


2-on-2 Positioning Drills

These 2-on-2 drills work on correct positioning in the gaps, and good close-outs on the ball. All of these 2-on-2 drills should be done on both the right and left sides of the court. Have the players pass back and forth several times, and then switch offense and defense.

2-on-2 Top to Wing Drill

These 2-on-2 drills work on correct positioning in the gaps, and good close-outs on the ball. Diagram 4 shows X1 pressuring the ball (O1). X2 is in the gap below the imaginary packline, and a good step away from his/her man (toward the ball), with a somewhat closed stance (so as to not lose sight of his/her man). As O1 passes to O2, O2 closes out on O2 (with high hands) and pressures the ball, while O1 jumps to the ball and drops below the packline in the gap (diagram 5). O1 and O2 pass back and forth several times, and then the offense and defense switch.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 2-on-2, top-wing basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 2-on-2, top-wing

2-on-2 Top to Corner Drill

Diagram 6 shows X1 pressuring the ball (O1). X2 is in the gap below the imaginary packline. As O1 passes to O2, X2 closes out on O2 (with high hands) and pressures the ball while denying the baseline. X1 jumps to the ball and drops below the packline in the gap. Diagram 7 shows the pass back to the top with X1 closing out on O1 and X2 dropping into the gap below the packline. Again, after several passes, rotate offense and defense.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 2-on-2, top-corner basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 2-on-2, top-corner

2-on-2 Wing to Corner Drill

Diagram 8 shows X1 pressuring the ball (O1), starting now on the wing. X2 is in the gap below the imaginary packline. As O1 passes to O2, X2 closes out on O2 (with high hands) and pressures the ball while denying the baseline. X1 jumps to the ball and drops below the packline in the gap. Diagram 9 shows the pass back to the wing with X1 closing out on O1 and X2 dropping into the gap below the packline. After several passes, rotate offense and defense.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 2-on-2, wing-corner basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 2-on-2, wing-corner

2-on-2 Two-Guard Front Drill

Diagram 10 shows the offensive players in a two-guard front. X1 is pressuring the ball (O1). X2 is in the gap below the imaginary packline. As O1 passes to O2, X2 closes out on O2 (with high hands) and pressures the ball. X1 jumps to the ball and drops below the packline in the gap. Diagram 11 shows the pass back to O1 with X1 closing out on O1 and X2 dropping into the gap below the packline. After several passes, rotate offense and defense.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 2-on-2, Two-Guard Front basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 2-on-2, Two-Guard Front


3-on-3 Drills

These 3-on-3 drills again work on correct positioning in the gaps, and good close-outs on the ball.

3-on-3 Positioning Drill

This drill is similar to the 2-on-2 drills above except now we are using three guards as seen in diagram 12. The offensive perimeter players remain stationary, passing the ball around the arc, as the defenders rotate and position themselves correctly in the gaps. We are also looking for good close-outs and pressure on the ball.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 3-on-3 positioning drills

3-on-3 Drill, with Coach

Diagram 13 shows the coach with the ball, with three other perimeter offensive players and three defenders positioned correctly in the gaps. The coach might dribble from side to side, in which case the three defenders should always be inside the imaginary packline. If the coach passes to a player (diagram 14), then that defender (here X1) closes out and pressures the ball. That player must then pass back to the coach (diagram 15), and all defenders must position themselves correctly in the gaps, inside the packline. The coach might yell "Freeze!" at any time, to examine and critique the positioning. Offensive players are free to cut, screen, and move anywhere.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 3-on-3 with coach basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 3-on-3 with coach basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - 3-on-3 with coach


"Blackhawk" Drill

From Coach Chris Mack, this drill works on gap positioning, bumping the cutter, close-outs and 1-on-1 defense. See diagram 24. X1 closes out on O1. O1 passes to either wing and X1 jumps to the ball in the gap... Coach Mack uses the term "jump and swipe" with the outside arm out in the gap looking to swipe. Gap defenders must be active.

O1 cuts through (diagram 25) and X1 bumps the cutter and goes with O1 to a point just below the free-throw line. The wing player always passes back to the top (diagram 26), where O4 steps in from the line to take the next pass (from O3). X1 closes out on O4 with high hands.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - Blackhawk Drill basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - Blackhawk Drill basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - Blackhawk Drill

O4 passes again to either wing (diagram 27). X1 again jumps to the ball into the gap. 4 cuts through and X1 bumps the cutter. O2 passes back to the top O5. X1 closes-out. Repeat these steps until X1 gets three or four close-out reps, and then yell "Live!". At this point (diagram 28) the offensive player on the point attacks 1-on-1, permitted only two or three dribbles, as X1 defends the dribble. Then start over with a new defender.

basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - Blackhawk Drill basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - Blackhawk Drill basketball pack line defense breakdown drill - Blackhawk Drill


Become a Premium Member or get the Deluxe CD or downloads to get the complete article. The complete article also includes these drills:
  • 4-on-4 Drills
  • 5-on-5 Drills


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