December 12, 2003, Newsletter Issue #140: POST DEFENSE-PROTECT THE RED ZONE

Tip of the Week

The key to establishing good post defense is to beat the offensive player to their desired spot and get in proper position as you are coming down the floor to protect the "RED ZONE". When the ball is still above the free throw line it is important to be on the ball-man line(a direct line between your man and the ball)with BOTH of your feet ABOVE the offensive post player. Try to be chest to chest with the post player and have your arm closest to the ball in the passing lane. This will make it difficult for the post player to step in front of you and seal off for good post position.

Instead, it gives the defense a good angle to step in front and FULL FRONT once the ball gets below the free throw line. In a "full front" your teammates will need to help you on any lob pass. The post player probably is not going to want you in this position, so it is a constant fight for position between the post player and defender. Be active and try to AVOID contact. The post player will have more trouble "pinning" you in a position where he can receive the ball, so he may try to force you out away from the basket.

This is the point where the "SMILE" comes into play. Once you are forced out far enough that you can get BEHIND the post player WITH *YOUR* FEET OUT OF THE KEY, try to do so. Now the post player is 12`-14` from the basket and you are behind him in a good position to defend. This makes for a tough post move and is very close to other perimeter players who may want to drop and "dig" in the post to help.
Being behind also puts you in a good position to rebound.
Of course, if the offense begins to back you down, the process starts all over again.

If the offensive player steps out beyond the SMILE, he now becomes a PERIMETER PLAYER and you should defend him as such.

Bottom line: In the RED ZONE play Full Front-No Catch.
Once the offense tries to push you out beyond 8`-10`, Get behind them and SMILE - you have them right where you want them!

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