3 Plus 2 On 2 Plus 3

This is a drill that Brad Stevens uses to practice his transition defense. The goals for the drill are to stay in front of the ball, protect the basket, pick up the ball and find the shooters.
This is the initial setup since it simulates a game situation.  x1 shoots a free throw.  Place 1 and 4 near or on the free throw lane.  Make or miss, you can play from there. 
Frame 1
As soon as the coach indicates the drill starts, x5, x2 and x3 sprint back to protect basket. After 4 passes to 1, 1 slides over to stay in front of the ball-handler. x4 drops back to around mid-court.  x4 will provide help to x1 if the ball-handler is able to blow by x1.  If x1 contains 1, x4 will pick up 4 as they head down the floor.
Frame 2
After 4 passes the ball to 1, 4 will clear the area to give 1 room to bring the ball up the floor. At times, 4 can also set a ball screen to relieve pressure. x1 is just giving 1 token pressure. If 1 basically hands the defender the ball, x1 should take it.  Otherwise, x1 should coast along with ball handler. x3 can play up the line to help stop the ball if necessary but also be in position to recover to shooter 3. x5 needs to be in position to stop dribble penetration, help baseline, and also prevent a lob to x5. X2 is to provide help defense but still needs to be able to get back to shooter.
Frame 3
If the drill is ran as intended with x1 staying in front of 1, here is where the offense will be. You can play the way you want from here but I like to get into the ball-handler and have the other guys play the gaps, though there are times that I would play one man off the ball straight up (based on your personnel and your opponents' personnel). x2 may slide over to left lane line but that depends on your personnel. 
Frame 4
Run and Jump Variation Here's one variation to the drill, particularly if  you like to run and jump. After 4 passes to 1. x1 slides over to play 1 straight up. X4 drops back to mid-court and mills around there.   x3 and x5 drop all the way back to protect the basket.   x2 can drop back a little but is basically the center fielder.  You want x2 to move towards mid-court.
Frame 5
x1 gets into 1 so much that the ball-handler feels uncomfortable. x1 shades to the middle. 4 will head down the court after passing the ball.
Frame 6
As soon as 1 puts the ball down on the floor, 4 runs and jumps at 1x.  The double team remains as long as the trap is still in play. 2 picks up 4 and tries to deny/prevent  the pass to go to 4. x3 and x5 then guard the other three players.
Frame 7
Once the trap is broken, x4 needs to hustle back down the court to pickup the open man.
Frame 8
Points of Emphasis
  • On-ball defender needs to attempt to stay in front of ball-handler -- so don't have your on-ball player take chances going for a steal. You can have the defender apply pressure two ways: either token pressure or pressure the ball-handler (hard) as I prefer. Remember you play defense with your feet, not your hands (no reaching).
  • The on-ball defender must stay low and be in a good defensive stance.  
  • The x4 defender who is guarding the inbounder/rebounder needs to give up space once the ball is thrown to the point guard.  That way, x4 does not get beat down court and provide help to the on-ball defender.
  • The other three defenders need to bust down the court while communicating with each other. They can never turn their back on the ball.  No.1 goal is to protect the basket, stop ball and then find the shooters. 
  • In the Run and Jump Variation, the on-ball defender needs to get up into the ball-handler on the catch. The defender needs to stay low and move his feet while having active hands.
  • The jumper -- in this case x4 -- needs to come hard with active hands to try to limit the point guard's sight-line. The goal here is to get a deflection or force a bad pass. 
  • x2 is the centerfielder.  x2 needs to be active but coy at the same time, 2 doesn't want to give the trap away. If the opposition is able to get out of the trap by throwing the ball to 4 in the back court, x2 takes the ball-handler and x4 either sprints back or if there is an opportunity, run and jump 4 -- with x1 guarding the point guard.


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C. Bingham says:
9/23/2016 at 1:08:32 PM

I like the concept of this drill. I wonder if my middle school girls can grasp the concept of this.


JNelson says:
3/30/2016 at 12:28:20 PM

Is there any way to get a video of this drill live?

  1 person liked this.  

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