Basketball On Defense

Chapter 3.5

The team that does not have possession of the basketball is on defense. Get ready to learn about when a team is on defense.


At all times during a basketball game, one team is on offense and the other team is on defense.

In this tutorial, we will learn what being on defense means.

On Defense

The team that does not have the ball in a basketball game is on defense. Players on defense are called defensive players.

Rookie Road Basketball The Defense Image

Goals While On Defense

The goals of a basketball team when on defense are the following:

  • to prevent a score by the other team
  • to get possession of the ball for their team

While on defense a team accomplishes these goals by guarding offensive players and forcing turnovers. We'll learn all about turnovers in future chapters.

Transitions From Defense To Offense

In basketball, teams are constantly trading ownership of the ball. As a result, teams are switching from being on defense to being on offense.

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