Basketball Trap Press

The Basics of the Trap Press

A trap style of defense is very common across multiple levels of basketball because of the versatility of it and the outcome it can bring. A trap press can be played in both the half court or the full court depending on how a team wants to utilize it. Either way the main goals no matter the formation and personnel used are the same: create traps that force turnovers and restrict the offense’s ability to control the momentum of the game. Some common traps that are used include a 3-2 full court trap, 1-3-1 half court trap, or a 1-2-1-1 full court trap press.

How to Best Utilize a Trap Press

No matter the defensive formation used in a trap press key fundamentals can help to force turnovers and shift the momentum. Using the court to the advantage of the defense is important. Most traps on successful defenses take place along the sidelines or right across half court so an imaginary third defender is created to help out the trapping defenders. By forcing offensive players to these points a trap press will create the most turnovers possible over the course of the time the set is being used.

Offensive Counterattack

An offense faces a tough battle if the defensive team is able to effectively use a trapping style of pressure defense. In order to limit turnovers and opportunities where traps take place, the offense must move the ball efficiently and keep good passing lanes available at all times. If offensive players begin to get lazy and out of position, the traps become much more effective and create many more turnovers because there are less good passing options to keep the ball away from trapping zones on the court. If the ball moves effectively, good scoring opportunities will come about forcing the defense team to shift away from this aggressive style of play.