During a basketball game, people commonly shout the word “DEFENSE!”. Come to think of it, do people in the stadium really know the meaning of the word? Does the basketball team, players and coaches, understand the meaning of the word? Is the value and importance of the word defense recognized? Sometimes basketball players themselves take it for granted. Everyone should remember that it is as important as scoring. A closer look at playing basketball defense is done in this article to clearly stress the meaning and importance of the word DEFENSE.
Defense is the team which doesn’t have the ball. Defense is also the act of protecting the basket and making it impossible for the offense, which is the team who has ball, to score. It can be considered as a state of mind which dictates the body to do measures to keep the other team from scoring. It is the “get the ball” attitude that fuels the defensive team along with the desire to win. Defensive skills can be taught and learned as long as the player puts his heart in it and realizes its importance in every basketball game.
Moving from offensive to defensive play should be done quickly. Defensive assignments should be set as soon as the basketball gets out of the team’s hands so the offensive team can’t get ahead. The mentality of the players at this point should be to get the ball back immediately.
Put the offensive team under a lot of pressure. Don’t let the other team peak through an open shot or an open man. Guard every player and every corner and be aware of the moves and observe the play of the offensive team. Distract the ball handler through noises and movements so the communication between the offensive players will be disturbed. Put those arms up and use the body to block the ball handler’s view. Decrease the chances of giving them opportunities to establish their team play. Keep your eyes open for rebounding and ball stealing opportunities and get the ball back! Stay between the basket and the offensive player.
Keep the lead hand close to the ball and wave the other hand to prevent a pass from taking place. The defense player’s opposite foot of the offense player’s dominant hand should always be kept forward with the same hand extended out with the palms up. This will allow an easy steal if an opportunity comes.
There are three types of defense: the man on man defense, the zone defense and the combination of the two, which is the Box 1 defense. Man to man defense is the simplest and most common among the defenses. One player is assigned to guard a specific player of the offensive team at all times. For example the point guard of the defense team guards the point guard of the offensive team. Match-ups are determined based from the player’s height, speed and athletic ability.
Man to man defense is an aggressive style that allows forced steals and puts every offensive player under a lot of pressure. The danger of this style of defense is that when the offense player outsmarts the defense player, there will be no defense player to help continue to screen the ball because everybody else is preoccupied with guarding their own man. These results in the outnumbering of offense players versus the defense players which can help make the offense score.
In zone defense, each player is assigned to cover a specific area or zone instead of one player. There are many kinds of zone defenses. These are usually listed with numbers wherein the numbers correspond to the number of players in a particular zone. A 2-3 zone defense for example indicates that there should be two players manning the area near the three point line and three players manning the baseline. More often than not, a zone defense is limited to the key or the painted area.
There are some instances when a man to man defense and a zone defense is simultaneously put into effect. A box-1 defense for example generally is a type of zone defense where four of the players man their respective areas around the key. The fifth player, usually a guard, is assigned to guard a specific player on the opposing team, playing him in a man to man type of defense.