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It's important to understand that, in order for your team to be good on defense, everyone needs to play together, just like they do on offense. This is called "team defense." To make sure that the team is as good as possible on defense, everyone needs to be in the proper position. Here are some guidelines to help in your positioning:
Always try to put defensive pressure on the player with the ball. Pressure makes the offense worry more about the defense than its offense. Rick Majerus, when he was the coach at the University of Utah, said that pressure is when the referee is counting.
Take a few steps in the direction of every pass that is thrown. This will put you in a position to stop your man if he tries to cut to the basket. You also will be in the right spot to help your teammates.
Always be able to see your man and the man with the ball. You need to be able stop your man AND help your teammates if they get beat.
React to the ball and help your teammates. The only man who can score is the man with the ball. If he's open, go guard him. If he passes the ball back to your man, sprint back and be ready to pressure him again.
If everyone on your team executes these fundamentals, you will not give up many easy shots. This puts your team in a position to be successful.