Defense is one of the most important parts of basketball. It may not get much recognition in terms of highlights and top plays, but it is very important to be able to succeed in team basketball. It is harder to defeat a team with solid defense, than it is to defeat a team with great offense.
As the famous saying goes, “Offense wins games, defense wins Championships” Here are the top 12 most important things to emphasize on defense. Each of these elements is important for each team to have success in defense.
1. Always Stop the Ball: When coming down for defense, the priority of each defensive team is to stop the ball. This means that you will have to immediately defend the player with the ball. This is to stop the point of attack and slow down the offense.
2. Keep Low: As individuals on defense, it is important to keep low. This means that a defender should have his knees bent and his buttocks down. This allows the defensive player to move and react quickly.
3. Keep your Hands Up: It is important to always keep your hands up when defending an offensive player. This is so that you can tap or tip a ball if it is close enough. This also puts the defensive player in position to intercept a pass or block a shot.
4. Deny all Passes: In team defense, denial is one of the most basic and effective ways of stopping the offense. Never allow a team to pass the ball around to the player that they want. The defense should deny passing angles and stay in front of the ball at all times, making it hard for the offense to move the ball around.
5. Keep your eyes on the Ball: Each defensive player must always know where the man they are guarding is and also where the ball is. This way, a defensive player can react to each play and adjust their defense.
6. Move on the Pass: Most coaches will tell you to move on the pass, not the catch. What this means it that you should start moving and adjusting as soon as the pass is made, and not just when the receiving player has already caught the ball. This makes it tougher for the offense to run their plays and creates opportunities for the defense to intercept the ball on the pass.
7. Quick Help: Quickly helping on defense is important, especially if there are mismatches on the defensive side of the floor. Helping quickly will give the offense less time to react and rotate the ball to an opening in the defense. “Help Defense” is an essential defensive strategy that can lead to an offensive turnover or violation.
8. Active hands: Active hands and ball pressure makes the offenses lag and slow down. This puts pressure on every player that handles the ball to make plays or make the correct pass. Keeping pressure also slows down the tempo of the offense and creates opportunities for the defense to make a play.
9. Box out: Boxing out and getting the rebound is essential in every defense. Getting the rebound will ensure that the offensive team will only get one shot at the basket. This defensive maneuver, commonly called “One and done” limits opportunities for the offense and puts the offensive side under a lot of pressure.
10. Communication. Communication is the most important aspect of any defense. Solid team defense is exponentially stronger than great individual defense. This means every player on the defensive side of the team must communicate with one another so that they can move, adjust or compensate for every action made by the offense.