Newsletter #175

December 11, 2019


Today's Quote:  "The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot." – Bill Russell

Today's Theme... "Red" - Trapping the Point Guard

As a surprise tactic, aggressively trap the point guard O1 just after he/she dribbles the ball across half-court, or when the X1 defender forces O1 to one side.  

You can also do this on a ball-screen. Both defenders jump out and trap the ball.

In diagram A, X1 overplays and forces O1 to the right. The wing defender X2 triggers the defense by aggressively running up and closing out on O1. X2 and X1 trap or force O1 more and more into a corner along the sideline. As soon as X2 goes up, X4 should move out to deny the pass up the sideline and X3 should deny any pass across the middle.

 trapping the point guard

X5 must read the backside. X5 half-fronts the high post player, denying that pass while still being able to recover on a long lob pass to O5. Usually this long pass is not readily visible to O1 who is under extreme pressure. Defenders try to get the 5-second call, jump ball, an interception, or a bad pass or travel turnover.

Use the "Red" defense as a surprise tactic, perhaps after a time-out, or a made free-throw, or as a special call from the bench. It might help you get a steal late in a close game. Getting steals off this can turn into breakaway lay-ups.

The keys are: the trapping defensive players must initiate the action and be much more aggressive than the offensive player being trapped (without fouling), and the remaining three defenders must deny or intercept the pass out of the trap.

See: Man-to-Man Pressure Defense - "Red" - Aggressively Trapping the Point Guard


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