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How to Defend in Basketball

Updated on April 7, 2013

The phrase, “good defense is good offense,” is often said in basketball and this is true. Even if you have potent firepower in offense this will eventually fizzle out if your team is lacking in defense.

How important is defense in basketball?

  • Defense is so important in basketball since it will limit the scoring chances of your opponent and in turn enhance the scoring chances of your team. A tough defense will eventually forced the offensive player to commit turnover or may set the stage for an interception or steal. If your opponents commit errors then this will give you more possessions and opportunities to score. This is the reason why a tough defense is good offense.
  • A good defense can stop the momentum and scoring run of the opposing team.


What are the different types or kinds of defense which basketball teams uses?

There are many types of defenses used by a coach in basketball. In professional leagues the man-to-man defense is used and often zone defense are prohibited. The zone defense on the other is employed in amateur basketball and has many different forms like the common 2-3, 1-2-2 (or 3-2), 1-3-1 and the box in one.

The 2-3 defense is best against teams that doesn’t have strong shooters and good centers. Shooters with decent shooting percentage can soften up this type of defense, though.

The 2-3 or 1-2-2 defense is an active type and designed to clamp on the shooters of the opposing team and can also be used to trap the offensive players on the sides of the basketball court.

The 1-3-1 defense is weak against side shooters but is good against opposing teams with centers and guards.

Full court press is also used by teams during defensive plays. The objective of this defense is to cause panic on the opposing team and force them to commit errors by trapping the offensive players.

Keep in mind that practice and cohesion is important for a team to enable their defense to click.


How to become a better defender in basketball

  • To become a good defender in basketball you need to be agile, fast and very active. If you are a point guard, shooting guard or small forward you must have quick hands to get steals and make interceptions. You must also have speed so that the player will not leave you behind.
  • Whatever your position is, see to it that you box out the offensive players to enhance your team’s chances of getting rebounds. You need not have extra inches in height or the extra bulges in getting rebounds if you position yourself well and good at boxing out.
  • Don’t get easily fooled by fakes and crossover moves.
  • If your enemy doesn’t have good lateral moves you may sacrifice your body for an offensive foul.
  • For centers it is important to have a good-eye coordination and timing in swatting away enemy shots and in providing hustle in the shaded lane.
  • If the offensive player is not a streak shooter you may distance yourself a bit so you’ll able to react to his moves whether he will shoot or attempt to drive for a basket.
  • Always provide hustle on the opposing player. Straddle your feet and always open your arms to minimize the vision of the opposing player.
  • Make a duty foul when needed and especially when you are at a disadvantage position during fast breaks plays of your opponents.

Here you have it I hope this helps in a way though.

Feel free to provide your feedback in the comment section.

My sixth hub in the HubChallenge.


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