A good press can quickly produce back-court turnovers, steals and easy baskets for your team. So it is an offensive weapon as such, and a way to come from behind, or a way to break open a close game, and a way to wear down a slower, less well-conditioned opponent.
It may help nullify the opponent's "bigs", who may labor to get up and down the floor. You can turn the game into a "track meet", rather than a slow-down game that favors the opponent's big post players.
The press keeps the opponent off-balance, changes the tempo of the game, and often has the opponent doing things they don't normally like to do. It often forces the opposing coach to use valuable time-outs. It favors a well-conditioned team with a deep bench, and with more substitutions, allows more of your players to get playing time.
Disadvantages of a Press Defense
A fair amount of practice time is required to develop a good, cohesive press. Also, remember that any press is a gamble (especially trapping defenses). You risk giving up the easy transition lay-up, and you have to be willing to accept that fact.
If your players are not well-conditioned, fatigue can become a factor. Your players may be more apt to foul and get into foul trouble, so a good bench is very valuable in this regard as well as the fatigue issue. But you might want to press only in certain situations (e.g. after a made basket), or certain times of the game, as a "surprise" tactic.
When teaching the match-up press, we break it down with drills (see article above). The drill progression for teaching the match-up press looks like this:
2-on-2 cut and double drill
2-on-2 run and jump drill
5-on-5 drills vs various press break formations (1-Up, 2-Up, 3-Up, 4-Up) using "80" press and the "81" and "61" deny presses.
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