Defensive Situations in a Mismatch
(Big Versus Small and Vice Versa)
A very common case of a defensive mismatch is after a defensive switch during an on-ball pick.
We have the pick’s defender jump out horizontally to the 3 point line with one hand up and the other down to block any quick shots or passes down to the centre. (Diag. 1)
The defender of the man with the ball switches to defend the center, letting him pass, and getting in front. (Diag. 2)
According to our general practices, for all on-ball picks the other three players must be floating with their hands open almost as if in a zone. (Diag. 3)
If the other team wants to take advantage of the mismatch around the perimeter, we ask our large man to bear two simple criteria in mind: the level of danger of a 3 point shot after the rival’s dribble, and which is his strong hand. Based on these two criteria, and always with one hand up to block any three point shots, we train him to position himself just outside or right inside the three point line, move (without diagonally positioning his body, instead maintaining it horizontal with the man and the ball) towards the man’s “strong” side, and keep this position for 2 lateral movements, without allowing him to pass vertically towards the basket. This is our aim: to hold two defensive movements if the rival tries penetrating. (Diag. 4-5-6-7)
After this effort, he will be entitled to receive the team’s help, which will occur according to the team’s general help and rotation standards (the first comes from the defender of the last man on the opposite side). (Diag. 8)
If the other team wants to take advantage of the mismatch down low, the first attempt will be like in diagram 2, not letting him get ahead, forcing him to push up towards the other team; if the other big man goes up to the high post to play high/low, we will follow our general practices: if he is a shooter, we will strongly anticipate the pass, helping against the lob from the opposite corner. (Diag. 9-10); if he is not a shooter, we will have an “active” float, faking, using our hands, blocking the inside pass and accepting the risk of a frontal shot. (Diag. 11-12)
If they want to get the ball to the low post, we would automatically activate our 2-on-1 system from the weak side, exactly as we do it when defending an especially dangerous rival on the low post: we will force the player to the post, first to dribble towards the centre and then to turn towards the baseline, from where #5 traps him.
The passer’s defender plays face-to-face with his man, not allowing the ball out. (Diag. 13)
#1 plays 1 on 2, and defends the player to whom the ball is passed to on the other side. #3 rotates to the other player and #5 recuperates his man. (Diag. 14)