The phrase, "BASKET-BALL-MAN" refers to the order of protection when retreating on defense. The first player back on defense must protect the BASKET. This will prevent the easiest of shots and limit the number of fast break layups the opponent may get. Once the basket is protected, the next player back needs to stop the BALL. After the BASKET is protected and the BALL is pressured, then players can feel free to match up and find their appropriate MAN or responsibility.
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