Friday, January 4, 2013

Press Variations

With half a season under our belts and conference play beginning, now is the time to start adding a few wrinkles to our pressing scheme.

I think it's a good idea to avoid getting complicated, especially early in the season, and especially with a first year System team.  But we are ready now to implement certain "adjustments" in response to the different ways opponent's can attack our press.

Saturday, for example, we will play a team that has their PG inbound the ball and then receive a quick return pass, before the weakside wing defender can rotate to cover the lag.  Our adjustment?  "Slow Trap," which means our on-ball defender simply delays one count before moving to the trap, which prevents the quick pass back to the inbounder, giving the wing time to rotate and cover that lag receiver.

Other good press adjustments include:
  • Trapping tighter (vs. press breakers that like to pass) or looser (vs. dribble-attack press breakers).
  • "Change" to change the look of our press from On to Off just as the referee hands the ball to the inbound passer, giving us an (unexpected) extra defender on the throw-in.
  • Inside-Out.  Normally, we use full-deny "outside-in" coverage on receivers, but when we are being out-quicked by the opponent, we move to inside-out denial so as to force the inbounds pass to the corner and hopefully have a better chance at a containing the ball in a quick trap.
  • "Stay Home" safety coverage.  Normally our safeties rotate to the arc if necessary to help cover good shooters and/or get involved in the trap.  But sometimes we like just keeping them at home near the basket to give us better inside coverage, taking our chances vs. teams that won't shoot the three.
This is not a complete list, but when combined with our basic On and Off presses, gives us more than enough looks to adjust our defensive game plan and hopefully disrupt the opponent's attack. 

And if it's not enough?  In that case, we just shoot 'em up and have some fun, and congrat the other team on a job well done!

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