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The abilities to force the opponent with the ball to go the direction you want them to go are invaluable basketball defenses. It is important to practice basketball training drills that will give you these abilities.
The important thing is to stay in line, facing your opponent. Placing your left foot one foot, directly to the left, of your opponent forces them to go to their left or bump into you. Conversely, placing your right foot one foot to their right will force them to go right.
Practice this with a team mate; have them move from side to side while you copy their movements. After a couple of times back and forth, put a foot out, forcing them to go back the other way.
Forcing your opponent can be useful to keep them away from the basket, or stop them from a clear pass to a team mate. Stopping them in their path will also cause them to rethink what they are doing, giving you time to move in and get the ball.