Pros of Press Defense
- press defenses can confuse the offense if they are unprepared
- press defenses can result in lots of turnovers
- press defenses are great against weaker teams that lack bench depth
Cons of Press Defense
There are a few reasons why you should consider not using a press defense in your playbook.
- press defenses leave the court open for fast breaks if the dribbler breaks through
- press defenses require lots of energy and can fatigue your defense
- have your team make quick passes on the court - passing is the fastest way to move the ball on the floor.
- use the sidelines to your advantage
- try and keep the ball in the middle of the court near the top of the key
- develop techniques to break traps with strong passing skills
Basketball Press Defense Types
There are many ways to run a press defense in basketball. Here is a list of press types you should know.
REMEMBER: All of these press formations apply the same basic principle of having the defense play aggressively on the court to apply pressure and force a turnover.
Basketball Full-court Press
A full-court press is a type of press that is applied over the full length of the court. On a full-court press, the defense will first apply pressure on the inbound pass at the baseline or sideline in the backcourt. By setting traps, the defense can force a turnover with a steal or backcourt violation.
Basketball Half-court Press
A half-court press is different from a full-court press because the defense only focuses on applying pressure in the front court when the dribbler gets past the half-court line. On a half-court press, the defense can apply pressure by the net, at the top of the key, or right when the dribbler walks over the half-court line.
Basketball 2-2-1 Press
A 2-2-1 press, also known as a 3/4 press, is a press formation that utilizes four defensive players near the midcourt line in the front court. 2-2-1 presses are best used against teams that lack the ability to penetrate to the lane from the top of the key. When making a 2-2-1 press, have your defense force the offense to the boundary lines and set traps to force easy turnovers.
Basketball Man Press
Basketball Diamond Press
A diamond press, also known as a 1-2-1-1 press or a 3-1-1 press, is a press formation that has four of its players in the shape of a diamond. The difference between a 2-1-1-1 diamond press and a 3-1-1 diamond press is based on how much pressure is applied on the inbound pass at the baseline. On a diamond press, the defense sets a trap right after the throw-in with the goal of forcing a turnover. Once the trap is set, one player should try and predict where the trapped player will pass the ball and force a steal.
A trap is a defensive strategy of applying pressure to the ball-handler close to the boundary lines to force a turnover. On a trap, two or more players run up to the ball-handler and trap him in a corner or area of the court.
You can learn more about traps by reading our tutorial on Basketball Traps.