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01 Января 2009 Журнал "FIBA Assist Magazine"

Виды спорта: Баскетбол

Рубрики: Профессиональный спорт

Автор: Pecora Tom, Kelly Michael

Attacking Pressure Defense

Attacking Pressure Defense

Attacking Pressure Defense

TERMINOLOGY

In this article about attacking pressure defense, there are some words and phrases that you should become familiar with. They include:

Ball toughness: refers to protecting the ball when the offensive player has possession of it. It is not letting the defense knock the ball out of your hands, especially when you are being pressured.

Blitz: refers to a trap and is when two defenders pressure the offensive player with the ball.

Fake a pass to make a pass: refers to the offensive player faking a pass over the top if he wants to throw a bounce pass or faking a bounce pass if he wants to throw a pass over the top.

If he goes high, I go by: refers to when an offensive player makes a high ball fake and the defender goes for the ball fake and reaches up to try and get a deflection. The offensive player, if he is a good ball handler, must drive the ball right by the defender when this happens.

Run through the pass: refers to the offensive player having to take steps towards the ball when he is about to receive a pass so that the defense cannot intercept the pass or get a deflection.

There are six keys to attacking pressure defense and they are:

  1. Teaching Progressions.
  2. Be Aggressive - “Attack.”
  3. Play to your Strengths.
  4. Timing and Spacing.
  5. Have Multiple Attacks.
  6. Practice Pressure Situations Daily.

TEACHING PROGRESSIONS

There are several fundamental drills that can be used every day or every other day within practice to simulate different kinds of defensive pressure situations. As your players begin to understand and execute the basic drills, you can then incorporate the concepts involved in these drills into more complex drills. This is where teaching progressions take place.

Our first basic drill is called Pivot Drill. The team is broken up into partners. Each group of two uses one ball. The first player pivots with the ball for four seconds, ripping the ball below his knees, tucking the ball back, and ripping the ball across his body. He then dribbles for four seconds, alternating hands, and protecting the ball. Then he picks his dribble up and pivots again for four seconds. Finally, when that last set of four seconds is finished, he steps and throws a pass to his partner. When he throws the pass to his partner he “fakes a pass to make a pass.” We use the expression “fake a pass to make a pass” because we do not want the defender to have an easy time getting a deflection on the pass. By pivoting for four seconds, dribbling for four seconds, and then pivoting for four seconds, we are simulating the total amount of time an offensive player can have possession of the ball without being called for a five-second violation while being pressured by a defensive player. The partner will then repeat the same drill. We do this drill for 2-3 minutes every day.

Next, we have a drill called 3-Man/Pivot and Pass. We separate our team into groups of three. Diagram 1 shows how this drill is set up and how it is executed. There are two offensive players that stand about 12-15 feet apart from one another. There is one defensive player that stands in between both offensive players. The goal of the offensive player is to throw a crisp pass, without any kind of deflection, to the other offensive player. The defender is looking to get a deflection or a steal. If the defender gets a deflection or a steal, then the offensive player who through the pass becomes the new defender. The defender runs at the offensive player. In this drill the offensive player works on “faking a pass to make a pass”, while a defensive player is running at him. The offensive player also works on creating proper passing angles when he steps and throws around the defender. This drill simulates a pressure situation in a game where the defense looks to execute a blitz or where the defense simply looks to put pressure on the offensive player by running straight at the offensive player.

Another drill that we use in practice is called Blitz Box. There are six players involved in blitz box, so we usually have two groups of six execute this drill on opposite ends of the floor. Four players form a box between the lane line and the sideline, and between the baseline and the free-throw line extended. Two defensive players start in the middle of the box. Diagram 2 shows how this drill is set up and then how it is executed. A coach will throw a ball to one of the four players that make up the box. The two players in the middle then sprint to the offensive player to execute a blitz. The offensive player pivots hard for four seconds and then passes the ball to the next offensive player. The two defensive players then sprint to the next offensive player and execute another blitz (diagr. 3). Once the two defensive players have executed all four blitzes (diagr. 4), we rotate a new group of two defenders into the middle. In this drill, the offensive player is working on protecting the ball while being blitzed, and then faking a pass to make a pass out of the blitz. The offensive player is also working on “ball toughness.”

As you can see, going from pivot drill to 3 Man/ Pivot and Pass to Blitz Box shows how we use teaching progressions to simulate the pressure situations that we will have to face in games. We go from a drill that uses no defenders, to a drill with one defender and two offensive players, to a drill with two defenders and one offensive player.

BE AGGRESSIVE – “ATTACK”

In the course of your daily practices, you are going to have certain drills that have an emphasis on offense and certain drills that have an emphasis on defense. It is important for your players to continue to work on their offense, even in drills that have an emphasis on defense. They must always think “Attack” when they are on the offensive side of the drill. The best way to beat pressure is by applying pressure yourself. Offensive players cannot be passive when faced with pressure. When the defensive player applies pressure on the offensive player with the ball, that offensive player must attack the defensive player with a hard move off the dribble or a quick pass over the top. When two defensive players blitz the offensive player, the offensive player must take one or two dribbles backwards, and then attack the outside leg of one of the defenders running at him. The offensive player can also try to split the two defenders running at him. The offensive player can make an advancing pass to a teammate that is open. The worst thing that the offensive player could do is pick up his dribble and become passive. More times than not, this will lead to a turnover or a wasted timeout.

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS

All of the players on your team must understand their roles, their strengths, and their weaknesses. When your players understand who they are as basketball players, they will be more effective in terms of their decision making and their responses in defensive pressure situations. For example, a thin, passive player should attack a blitz by making a pass over the top to an open teammate. A guard or forward, who does not dribble the ball that well should look to make a pass over the top to an open teammate when he is blitzed. A small, quick guard should try and step through the blitz and put the ball on the floor. We use the phrase, “If he goes high, then I go by.” This occurs when the guard fakes a pass over the top and then drives the ball past his defender because the defender has gone for the ball fake and has tried to get a deflection. A small quick guard, who is already dribbling the ball could also attack the outside leg of one of the defenders. The bottom line is that you don’t want players doing things that they are uncomfortable doing, especially in pressure situations. When the defense applies pressure, each offensive player must know his strengths, and then use his strengths to aggressively attack the defense.

TIMING AND SPACING

When attacking defensive pressure, it is important for the offense to have appropriate spacing and to make hard cuts at the appropriate times. The offense must use the entire court. By extending the floor with proper spacing, it makes it very difficult for two defenders to guard one offensive player off the ball.

When we talk about timing and spacing, it is important to know where the offensive sweet spots and the defensive pressure points are located on the floor. Diagram 5 identifies offensive "sweet spots". The offensive sweet spots are the areas where we want to get the basketball in order to successfully attack defensive pressure and in order to create good scoring opportunities. Diagram 6 identifies defensive pressure points. Defensive pressure points are the areas where the defense looks to execute their blitzes or apply any kind of pressure on the offense. Also, it is important to understand the relationship between timing and spacing, in terms of attacking pressure. Let’s look at diagram 9, which shows our first option in our “Blue” press offense set. We will get into the details of this press offense set later on in the article, but let’s look at the pass that 1 makes to 2. We have to make sure that 2 does not make his hard cut to the middle of the floor until 1 catches the ball. If 2 cuts before 1 catches the ball, 2 may indeed beat his defender to the middle of the floor, but then, by the time 1 catches the ball, 2’s defender has a chance to recover and so we are not able to execute our attack. Also, if 2 cuts to the middle of the floor too early, by the time 1 makes his catch, the space between 1 and 2 will be too close and 1 will not be able to lead 2 with a pass so that 2 can catch the ball on the run and then push the ball up the floor. As you can see a mis-timed cut, and in this case, an early cut, leads to the inability to hit 2 in the middle of the floor on the run. Also, the early cut leads to poor spacing for a pass to be thrown from 1 to 2. In diagrams 28 and 29, you will see how we execute our “White” press offense set. We will get into the details of this set later on in the article. Again, it is important to use the entire floor. If that same set-up is used, but with all five offensive players much closer together, it is easier for the defense to apply pressure with one or two defenders, and then recover if they get beat. If the defense decides to blitz at any point, the slides for the other defenders that are not involved in the blitz are much shorter and therefore it will be easier for them to get steals or deflections. Punish the defense for their aggressiveness by extending the floor.

HAVE MULTIPLE ATTACKS

Well coached teams will often adjust their defensive schemes and so, in turn, you must have multiple ways to attack their pressure. We utilize several different ways to attack different kinds of pressure. In the full court, we use different press offense sets, and then have several options within each of the sets that we use, depending on how the defense guards us. We will talk about four sets that we use to run against full court pressure. We also have a set that we use to attack pressure in the half court. Finally, we will look at different ways that a team can attack when the defense blitzes dribble hand-offs, post entries, and ball screens.

Our first press offense set is called “Blue.” We use “Blue” when we are being pressed, man to man, in the full court. Diagram 7 shows our “Blue” press offense set-up. Our 4 always inbounds the ball. Our point guard (1) and our shooting guard (2) set up in a stack at the top of the key. Our 3 begins where the half court line intersects the sideline, and is opposite the ball. Our 5 begins where the half court line intersects the sideline, on the ball-side of the floor.

Diagrams 8, 9 and 10 show our first option out of our “Blue” set. On the slap of the ball, 1 and 2 screen for each other and then make hard cuts in the opposite direction. 4 passes the ball to 1 and then steps inbounds. 1 makes sure to make his catch “foul line extended.” If 1 makes his catch below the foul line, it makes it easier for the defense to trap him. If 1 makes his catch foul line extended, the slide that the inbounder’s defender has to make is longer, and so it is harder for the defense to establish a quick trap. 2 makes a hard cut to the middle of the floor once 1 catches the ball. 1 passes to 2 and then 2 pushes the ball up the floor with a pass to either 3 or 5.

The second option of our “Blue” set starts like the first one, illustrated in diagram 7. We use this option when our first hard cut to the middle isn’t open. On the slap of the ball, 1 and 2 screen for each other and then make hard cuts in the opposite direction. 4 passes the ball to 1 and then steps inbounds. 2 makes a hard cut to the middle of the floor once 1 catches the ball. 2 is not open and so 1 reverses the ball back to 4. After 2 makes his hard cut to the middle of the floor and realizes that he is not open, he makes a hard cut straight back to the sideline. 4 passes to 2 (diagr. 11) and then 1 makes a hard cut to the middle of the floor once 2 catches the ball (diagr. 12). 2 passes to 1 and then 1 pushes the ball up the floor with a pass to either 3 or 5 (diagr. 13).

Diagram 14 shows our third option out of our “Blue” set. We use this option when both of our guards are being fronted after they make their hard cuts to free themselves. When this happens, 1 and 2 walk their men to the baseline and then reverse pivot and seal. 4 has the option to then pass the ball over the top to either of the two guards (diagr. 15). In this case, 4 passes to 2, and then 2 pushes the ball up the floor with a pass to either 3 or 5 (diagr. 16).

Now we talk about our fourth option out of our “Blue” set. We use this option when both of our guards are being fronted after they make their hard cuts to free themselves, but 4 is not able to get them the ball once they have walked their men to the baseline. 3 makes a hard cut back to the ball to the top of the key. 4 passes to 3 (diagr. 17). Once 3 catches the ball, 1 and 2 release from their seal and sprint up the sidelines. 3 passes to 1, and 1 then pushes the ball up the floor with a pass to 5 (diagr. 18 and 19).

Our second press offense set is called “Yellow.” We use “Yellow” when we are being pressed, man-to-man, in the full court. Diagram 20 shows our “Yellow” press offense set-up. Our 4 always in- bounds the ball. Then we line the other 4 players up along the top of the key extended, with 10-12 feet between each player. Going from the ball-side to the weak-side, we have 5 first, followed by 2, followed by 1, followed by 3.

Our first option of “Yellow” set begins when, on the slap of the ball, 5 takes his man away from the ball and then makes a hard cut back to the ball. 4 passes to 5 (diagr. 21). When 5 catches the ball, 2 screens away for 1. 1 comes off the screen and 5 passes to 1 (diagr 22). 1 pushes the ball up the floor with a pass to 3 (diagr. 23).

The second option of our “Yellow” set begins like the first one. When you are able to run the baseline, the 4 makes a hard ball fake to get his man to react and then sprints along the baseline. 3 takes his man away and then makes a hard cut back to the ball. 4 passes to 3 (diagr. 24). Once 3 makes his catch, 1 screens for 2. 2 makes a hard cut up the floor and towards the sideline. 1 then makes a hard cut up the middle of the floor (diagr. 25). 3 passes to 1 and 1 pushes the ball up the floor with a pass to 5 (diagr. 26).

Diagram 27 shows our third option out of our “Yellow” set. We use this option when there is a defender guarding the in- bounder and when all four of the other players are being face-guarded. 4 calls out a number that corresponds to the number of the other four players on the floor. Each player takes one or two hard steps towards the ball, and then the player whose number was called sprints the length of the floor. 4 throws a baseball pass over the top of the defense to the player whose number was called for a lay-up. In this case, 2 was the number called.

Our third press offense set is called “White.” We use “White” against a full court zone press. Diagram 7 shows our white press offense set-up. The set-up for “White” is exactly the same as it is for “Blue.”

Diagram 28 shows our first option out of our “White” press offense set. On the slap of the ball, 1 and 2 screen for each other and then make hard cuts in the opposite direction. 4 passes to 1. 4 then sprints to the middle of the floor at half court. 1 advances the ball with one or two dribbles and then reverses the ball back to 2 (diagr. 29). After the ball reversal to 2, 2 passes to 4 in the middle of the floor. 4 then turns and passes to 5 at the top of the key. 5 then turns and makes a bounce pass to 3 for a lay-up (diagr. 30). Diagram 31 shows our second option out of our “White” set. On the slap of the ball, 1 and 2 screen for each other and then make hard cuts in the opposite direction. 4 passes to 1 and then sprints to the middle of the floor at half court (diagr. 32). 1 advances the ball with one or two dribbles and then reverses the ball back to 2. After the ball reversal to 2, 2 throws a skip pass to the 5-man. 5 then turns and passes to 3 for a lay-up (diagr. 33). We use this option when the defense denies the pass to the middle of the floor to the 4 man.

Our third option of “White” set begins like th first one illustrated in diagram 28. We will use this option when a team shows zone pressure and then falls back into a 1-3-1 set. On the slap of the ball, 1 and 2 screen for each other and then make hard cuts in the opposite direction. 4 passes to 1. 4 then sprints to the middle of the floor at half court. 1 advances the ball with one or two dribbles and then reverses the ball back to 2 (diagr. 34). As 2 advances the ball, 3 and 4 exchange positions (diagr. 35). As 2 crosses half court, he drives the ball hard at 3. 3 then spaces to the wing. 2 passes to 3 for a jump shot (diagr. 36).

Our fourth option of “White” set begins like before. We will also use this option when a team shows zone pressure and then falls back into a 1-3-1 set. On the slap of the ball, 1 and 2 screen for each other and then make hard cuts in the opposite direction. 4 passes to 1. 4 then sprints to the middle of the floor at half court. 1 advances the ball with one or two dribbles and then reverses the ball back to 2. As 2 advances the ball, 3 and 4 exchange positions. As 2 crosses half court, he passes to 4. 5 then flashes to the ball-side block. 4 passes to 5 for a lay-up (diagr. 37).

Our fourth press offense set to called “White to the Side.” We use “White to the Side” against a full court zone press. Diagram 7 shows our “White to the Side” press offense set-up. The set-up for “White to the Side” is exactly the same as it is for “Blue” and for “White.”

The first option out of our “White to the Side” set begins when on the slap of the ball, 1 and 2 screen for each other and then make hard cuts in the opposite direction. 4 passes to 1. 4 then sprints to the middle of the floor at half court. 1 advances the ball with one or two dribbles and then reverses the ball back to 2. When 2 makes his catch, 4 sprints directly toward the ball-side sideline (diagr. 38). 2 passes to 4. 4 turns and passes up the floor to 5 at the top of the key. 5 then turns and passes to 3 for a lay-up (diagr. 39). We use this option when the defender guarding our 4 man in the middle does not follow him to the sideline.

The second option out of our “White to the Side” set begins like before. On the slap of the ball, 1 and 2 screen for each other and then make hard cuts in the opposite direction. 4 passes to 1. 4 then sprints to the middle of the floor at half court. 1 advances the ball with one or two dribbles and then reverses the ball back to 2. When 2 makes his catch, 4 sprints directly toward the ball-side side- line. 2 makes a hard ball fake up the side-line to 4, and then turns and quickly reverses the ball back to 1 (diagr. 40). 1 catches the ball, rips it across his body, and then pushes the ball up the floor with a pass to 5 for a lay-up (diagr. 41). We use this option when the defender guarding our 4 man in the middle follows our 4 man to the sideline. This creates more space to attack the press in the middle of the floor. We also have a set called “Red” that we use against half court pressure where the opposing team looks to trap. Diagrams 42, 43 and 44 and diagrams 45, 46 and 47 show our “Red” set. We get into a 1-3-1 set once pressure is applied by some sort of trap, and we look to reverse the ball as quickly as possible for either a 3-pointer, a drive to the rim, or a post-up, depending on who the ball is reversed to and on how the defense recovers. The trap, or blitz as we call it, can occur when the offense tries to execute a ball screen, a dribble hand-off, a post entry, a pass towards the sideline, or a dribble towards the sideline.

PRACTICE PRESSURE SITUATIONS DAILY

Even if your team is not a team that will look to pressure the basketball, it is important to be able to simulate that pressure during practice. This simulation of pressure defense can be done by making sure that the proper players in the program are playing key positions for the defense or by adding an additional player to the team that is on defense. Within our scrimmages in our practices, we use blocks of 5 minutes to work on different kinds of pressure that we might be faced with during a game. Sometimes, we don’t use blocks of time, and we will work on simulating pressure on a particular possession without warning the defense. For example, for five minutes we will instruct the players to blitz all ball screens. For another 5 minutes, we will instruct the players to blitz all dribble hand-offs. For another 5 minute block, we will instruct the players to blitz the post, either on the catch or on the dribble. We will instruct the players to get into our full court pressure defenses for a five minute block. Sometimes, we will instruct both teams to do all of these things at once during a block of time during the scrimmage.

We also simulate half court pressure in breakdown drills. Obviously, this is different from simulating pressure in our scrimmaging because we do not use all five defenders on the floor. Sometimes we use three defenders to demonstrate the blitz and then the first pass that the defense looks to take away as the blitz occurs. Other times, we use no defenders, and just get the players comfortable with identifying the appropriate looks that will be open when a certain blitz occurs. This enables our offensive players to better understand where the scoring opportunities will be once they are pressured. We use the areas on the floor where we like to set our ball screens and then blitz those ball screens. We go over where the scoring opportunities will be on a blitzed ball screen. We do the same for dribble hand-offs and the same for post entries.

Attacking pressure defense begins with practicing basic fundamental drills and then incorporating those basic drills into your offensive attack. Players must understand their own strengths and weaknesses and at the same time, through continued practice, be able to rely on their strengths to be as effective as possible in any type of pressure situation.

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