Coaching Basketball Matchup Zone Notes

These notes on matchup zone defense are from Scott Peterman’s Ultimate Matchup Zone eBook. I hope they give you some ideas to apply to your zone defense. If you don’t play zone in games, then hopefully you can use them as you practice your zone attack against your second team in practice.

The Ultimate Matchup Zone eBook is paired with the Full Court Pressing Playbook as this week’s eBook Bundle.

Click here to find out more about the pair: Ultimate Matchup Zone and Full Court Pressing Defenses Playbooks

If you do have any questions about the Playbooks, please feel free to email me or call/text me at 765-366-9673.

Here are some favorable zone defense situations:

  • * Man to Man Matchup problems
  • * 2 non-shooters who are both small.
  • * You are playing against a high volume of post-up teams and penetration teams.
  • * You are playing your second night of a back to back.
  • * When you are coming out of a time-out. You can take the opposing coach out of the set play by changing to a zone defense.
  • * Low clock situations with a sideline out of bounds play, baseline out of bounds play, or an end of the quarter play.
  • * Limited preparation time
  • * Foul Trouble

Zone Defense Issues that cause problems:

These are areas that you must have a plan to counter and practice.

  • No one is in your “home” area.
  • When your opponent spreads the floor with multiple shooters.
  • When the zone offense screens the middle man.
  • Back Screens on the weak side of a zone defense.
  • When rotating two players to one. If in doubt then the smaller person stays.
  • If two players try to defend one offensive player. You must talk on zone defense.
  • If you have two offensive players in one “Home” area.

Zone Defense Tips:

  • The quality of the shooter will dictate your ball pressure level on the offense.
  • The Ball can’t rest in a “Bump” area. The “Bump” areas require reading and talking among teammates.
    If the ball is in the High Post area then it’s the 5 man’s responsibility.
  • Watch out when you are switching on/off the ball in a bump area.
  • The Player that is further from the ball must communicate more.
  • If you don’t have someone in your “home”area then look at the next area and pick someone up.
  • You must go “HOME” on all Skip Passes.
  • When the ball gets below the free-throw line then all five defensive players must be below the free throw line.
  • If you are more than one pass away then you should be thinking of protecting the basket first.
  • If you are one pass away then you should be defending the ball first.
  • All five players must Rebound.
  • If you don’t know what to do, then go “Home”. Someone will come in your “Home” area.
  • If no one is in your “Home” area, then build your help from the basket out.
  • If we get caught sending two players to the same rotation then we want the strong side defender to stay with the ball, and the weak side defender to re-rotate to another man.
  • Never leave the ball during a scramble situation.

Zone Defense Checklist | Think about how you want to handle these situations

  • Ball Screens: Middle, Side, Step-up, and Elbow Pick and Rolls.
  • Off Ball Screens: Stagger Screens, Double Screens, Flare Screens
  • Passes: One pass away, Two passes away, and Skip Passes
  • Areas where the offense will attack: Short Corner, Dribbling between areas, Low post flash, Low post
    flash into corner, High post flash, High post flash into perimeter step-out, Dives to the rim, Drives to the rim.
  • Concepts: Baseline Runner, Overload, Underload, Defending two people in one space, 5 out on the
    perimeter, 4 out and 1 post player.
  • Zone Offensive Sets and Alignments: 1-4, 1-2-2, 2-1-2, 1-3-1, 2-3, 3-2, Running “X” in the paint.
  • Situations: Baseline out of bounds, Sideline out of bounds, Low Clock, End of the Game, After a free
    throw, After a press, After a missed shot, and Low clock resets.

These notes on matchup zone defense are from Scott Peterman’s Ultimate Matchup Zone eBook. I hope they give you some ideas to apply to your zone defense. If you don’t play zone in games, then hopefully you can use them as you practice your zone attack against your second team in practice.

The Ultimate Matchup Zone eBook is paired with the Full Court Pressing Playbook as this week’s eBook Bundle.

Click here to find out more about the pair: Ultimate Matchup Zone and Full Court Pressing Defenses Playbooks

If you do have any questions about the Playbooks, please feel free to email me or call/text me at 765-366-9673.

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