This 2-3 half court trapping system has very simple rules and allows players to be aggressive and force turnovers while also forcing tempo. I have found this defense to be very beneficial to my varsity team and I think it is best utilized as a second defense to a solid man to man. This defense steals practice time from your opponents as they must prepare for this different look. Here are the simple rules.
Force Lob Passes
Play the Passing Lanes
Hands are ALWAYS UP, NOT TO THE SIDE
Hard trap all catches at or inside the 3 point line
The 4 player stays between the ball and the basket
When ball is at top, we are “Home Base”
X1: Smaller of the two guards, usually the point guard.
X2: Bigger guard, starts on the offense's right side as we want the first lob over a bigger player.
X3: Usually most athletic player, needs to cover a lot of ground.
X4: Post player, helps if this player has solid lateral movement as they also have to cover a lot of ground.
X5: Usually best rebounder and/or anticipator. This position has led our team in steals the last three seasons.
Ball At the Top: “Home Base”:
When the ball is out top we are in our home base alignment. We are trying to force lob passes and gamble and try and get deflections. With our initial alignment being right at the middle circle, we are automatically forcing the offense to start their offense away from the basket. X1 and X2 are playing the passing lanes, X3 and X5 have their backs facing the sideline, and X4 starts at around the top of the three point line or wherever the high post is positioned. X4’s job is to never allow the ball in the high post from the top.
Ball at Wing:
When the ball is caught in the wing area, it will be the ball side guard and forward working to play the passing the lanes and the weakside guard and forward working to be interceptors. The X4 player stays in line with the ball and the basket not allowing catches in the post area. When the ball is further out like in the diagram, it is X2's job to apply the hard sideline pin.
Ball in the Corner:
When the ball is in the corner, X3 hard pins the ball in the corner playing the passing lane out top and X4 plays between the corner and the basket. X5 is in position to help on the post if the ball is driven baseline while also being in position for a skip and for weakside rebound. X1 and X2 are reading shoulders and getting in intercept position.
Ball in Short Corner:
When the ball is caught in short corner, X3 and X4 trap the ball hard, X5 slides over and low side fronts the post. X2 gets into position to take the pass away to mid post area or the top and X1 sprints to opposite block area to cover the weak side area.
Closing Out to Gaps:
It is critical that defenders close out to the gap areas and not at the player. The only time the defenders should close out right at the offensive player is if they are preparing to shoot a three near the arc.
When a shot goes up, it is critical that the defense forms a weakside wedge with the two weakside defenders (X2 and X3). All 5 players rebound on every possession.
Start in a ¾ court 1-1-3 alignment back into the buzz.
Start in 2-2-1 press and fall back into the buzz.
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