This article was written by Coach Will Rey
These are nice to have in your back pocket.
Why use one?
– Change tempo
– Dictates who takes the shots
– Uses zone principles
– Keeps the ball out of the hands of the opponent’s best player
– Offense often doesn’t know which offense to run
When to use?
– Can use the entire game or after timeouts
– To stop a run or to change momentum
– Use it until they score twice
Diamond and one
– Good when you are trying to take away one player
– Need to ask, “Do we want to take away their best player, shooter, or playmaker?”
– Most effective versus a perimeter player but will work versus a post player.
Defender is in total denial, he does not have to help. His only responsibility is to make sure his man has no catches.
He should force his man into the pack (the other 4 men are playing a zone) see the ball
We have 4, they have 4. There should not be an open man.
X1 is at the top and covers everything from elbow to elbow
X4 and X3 are on the wings and cover from the elbow to the block
X5 stays on a straight line between the ball and the basket.
If the offense gets in a 1 guard front, line up your defense in a 1-3 with the 5 man staying in a straight line between the ball and the hoop.
If the offense is in a 2 guard front, the wing on that side will step up. Remember, we have 4 they have 4.
Pass coverage: On a pass to the wing and then a basket cut by the passer, X1 will take the cutter to the lane line and then X4 will absorb him.
If the pass goes from the wing to the corner, X5 can show but X4 should slide down to bump X5 back to his original position.
People in the diamond must know who the shooters are.
Remember we have 4 and they have 4. There should be no open cutters.
Diamond and one- Bump cutters
A counter often used for this defense is a lot of screening to free the man up for a shot.
To stop this, the guy covering the star player must stay right on the star’s butt so that they are almost 1 person.
The other 4 guys should bump the star player as he goes through.
Once the star gets under the basket, never give him a choice of direction. Don’t play on top, take away one of his options. Send him to a side where the wing defender can extend the defense a little more.
Bump cutter or extend on any screen. We want to force an outside shot.
A defender in this defense should not have to go from on the ball to on the ball.
Yell “shot” every time a shot goes up. We need to do this so we can find someone to block out.
Don’t want the zone to get stretched out too far so that offense can get it into the high post.
X1 should cover top of the key to the free throw line. Once the ball is passed to the wing,
X1 should drop to take away the high post.
Can’t let the pass be thrown behind X1 to the heart of the zone.
If a pass is thrown to the player we are trying to stop, force him into the pack. We can’t let the star get easy catches.
Triangle and Two– Good if a team has 2 good players and 3 average to below average players.
– Flexible because you can take 2 players out of the offense
– Forces non-scorers into scoring roles. We will play this against the 2 best scorers or versus the point guard and the scorer.
– Can upset the offense’s chemistry
We are completely denying 2 players
The other 3 defenders are in a triangle.
The 2 players being denied are not allowed to catch the ball. They are in full denial all over the floor.
If these 2 guys cross screen for each other, switch.
Scouting is essential to this. Make the other 3 beat you. Better still… no open looks. Remember, we have 3 and they have 3.
Put your most athletic person at the top of the triangle. He should also be crafty. He should never have 2 feet on the 3-point line. He covers elbow to elbow.
X2 and X3 have their respective wing areas.
If they bring someone else up such as O2 or O3, we’ll bring someone else up too.
Make them take a contested jump shot. In theory their guy is at best their 3rd best shooter so we are fine with this.
We can’t get beat off the dribble
Once the ball is passed, we jump to a help and support position
Talk, talk, talk. Tell each other where their help is.
No shots for 2 best players. No lay ups
If they overload this and put the 2 guarded guys away from the triangle, fine. Move the triangle to the side.
Don’t deny pass to the corner. We want them to shoot contested jump shots
No lay ups or any baskets close to the hoop. We are making them shoot contested jump shots
Post defense concepts– on a pass to the post X1 will trap down with one of the wing defenders to force the ball back out. If they want to go inside out and shoot the jumper, that is fine.
Trap from the top-down
Again, the guarded guys can’t catch the ball
If he does catch it in a scoring position, we must run and trap with the top of the triangle.
If he throws it out, we close out to force the jump shot.
If he isn’t in a scoring position, X1 should stay back in the triangle. We will never leave the basket unattended.
If an unguarded player screens for a guarded player, we trap it or string it out and let him fight over it.
If 2 guarded guys screen for each other, we switch it.
If they come into a scoring area, the point guy on the triangle helps or traps.
If a shot is taken they must yell “Shot!” Penalize players if they don’t do it in practice
Why is it so imperative to do this with the box and one or the triangle and 2? Because the guys in full denial may not see the shot going up.
We immediately go to 5 guys boxing out. It should be a good defense to rebound out of.
Why? Because we are always near shooters. The triangle guys never have 2 feet outside the 3-point line so we can have them close to the hoop.
The triangle men must constantly talk. They must appear bigger than they are. Hands up in the triangle, active hands.
2 guys must be in full denial and see the ball. If they cross screen or screen switch. Force them into the triangle. If we get lost, go to the rim and work your way out.
They may have a 3rd player who is a good shooter. We will have to keep track of him. Talk, talk, talk!
4 on 4 Diamond and 1 drill
4 offense guard 4 defense. Don’t let the defense get stretched out too far.
Stay big and talk. Only guard to the 3-point line. Don’t get stretched out too far.
When the ball is skipped to the other side of the floor, the closest man takes it.
We do not want any of our defenders in the diamond to have both feet outside the lane.
Once the shot goes up, the 4 have man to man responsibilities and must block out.
1 on 1 Diamond and one drill
Stop the offensive player from catching the ball. Can work in a shot to get them used to boxing out.
Force the offense back into the pack. We want to force back door passes and back door cuts.
3 on 3 Triangle and 2 Drill
Offense can do whatever they want. When ball goes into the post, the top of the triangle comes down and traps and then rotates out on the pass back out.
When the shot goes up, yell “Shot!” and box out.
If they screen on the ball, unguarded for unguarded, you switch and go on the inside.
2 on 2 Triangle and 2 Drill
Now work on the guarded players. Full denial
If they screen for each other, switch.
Then put someone with a blocking dummy. Do not go over the top, trail and closeout.
Then add a 2nd screener. Try to get 35 seconds without a touch. Only backdoor passes are o.k. Coach will just fake that pass and the drill will continue.
Will has more than 30 years of basketball coaching experience at college and high school level. He has produced 6 coaching DVDs and is a frequent clinic lecturer. He is currently the Head Coach at Northridge Prep in Chicago. Coach Rey has been a Division 1 Head Coach at Loyola and has served as an assistant at Evansville and Wright State. In 2005 he was inducted into the Five-star Basketball Hall of Fame for his work over 20 years as a resident coach, lecturer, and administrator at Five-Star camps.
Robert Anderson says
Thanks for the article we play alot of combination defenses. I would love to share ideas with you.
Bob Anderson Williamsfield,Il. 61489