Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills


This is a conventional 1-2-2 zone with trapping and match-up options.

See Defences - 32 match-up, Pistons 1-2-2 match-up, Auburn 1-2-2, 10 zone, 12-13 zone, also 3-2 Tubby Smith (a sliding 1-2-2).

1) Basics

X1 picks up the ball out top, the zone has a 1-2-2 shape.

On a pass to 2, X2 closes out, X1 drops to cover the high post.

X2 would bump X1 if 1 dribbles to the wing (it can be an aggressive jump switch).

Tubby Smith - fan 1 to the sideline, out of the middle, keep him on one side.

Chris Oliver - a wing covers a skip pass, a post covers the next pass if it goes lower.
Coach Mac - put X1 on a wing and a long, athletic player that can finish at the top. X1-X2-X3 are in great position to fast break. The wings pinch in to protect the high post when the ball is at the top of the key. X4 would take a skip pass to 4.
Flip Saunders - against a two-guard front, X1 takes the attacker on the left, forces sideline.

X4 fronts the low post or plays low outside, he has to get out to the corner on a pass to 4.

X5 is the help on a lob pass.

X3 would take (or cover) a skip pass to 3, including a pass to the far corner (then X5 bumps up X3, or they trap).

Smith - X4 plays outside low-post 5, butt to the baseline, guarding 5 with his inside hand. Wings try to take any skip pass.

Coach Mac - if the ball is skipped to the corner, X3 would close out then get bumped up by X5, or they trap.

Auburn - X5 is ballside, in line with the ball and the basket. X4 is halfway to the corner, parallel to the baseline, ready to deflect a pass to the low post with his inside arm.

10 zone - a 1-2-2 that becomes a 2-3 when the ball is on the wing, X4 fronts 5, X5 slides over ballside to protect the middle.

See Match-up options.

On a pass to the corner, X4 closes out, X5 comes across to cover the low post, X3 sinks to protect weakside.

X2 can

- bump X1 from the elbow
- stay to deny a return pass to 2 (shown)
- double-team the corner
- drop to help on the low post.

Oliver - when his partner X4 goes out, X5 comes across, and plays behind a low post.

Coach Mac - X2 can sag in to prevent an inside pass, hard deny the wing, or trap the corner.

X5 covers the low post.

X1 would take a skip pass to 1 and X3 take a skip pass to 3.
Coach Mac - X4 takes away the baseline, X5 defends low post 5 but doesn't front.
Auburn - X5 fronts a mid or low post.

Option - X5 and X1 can double-team on a post entry to 5, see Defence - 3-2 sliding zone Jack Bennett.

2) Trapping

Trapping situations include

- losing late in a game
- when a match-up catches the ball
- to keep the ball out of the corners.

The defence can trap the wings and/or corners.

Here X2 follows a pass to trap with X4, X5 covers the low post. X1 looks to intercept a pass to the wing but first covers the high post. X3 protects weakside but can look for steals.

Smith - trap when the ball goes below a wing. X1 still covers the elbow but looks to steal a pass to 2.

Boeheim - the corner trap is key to keeping the ball out of the corner.

Brendan Suhr - run a 3-2 zone and trap the star whenever he catches the ball (see Chaser defence).

Red option (e.g. losing late in a game) - X1 rotates to take away sideline, X3 covers the high post area, leaving open a skip pass to 3.

Boeheim - X1 covers the passing lane back to the wing, X3 covers any high post attacker or the point guard, X5 always fronts a low post.

Here X1 follows a pass to 2 and traps with X2, the obvious pass is back to 1, X3 covers that, X5 covers the high post.

Tar Heels scramble - X3 covers the obvious pass back to 1, then backs off a bit because he may need to help on the high post.

Dean Smith - if 1 gets the ball right back from 2, they will go double him.

Jim Larranaga - X3 rotates up top to take away ball reversal, X5 moves up to the high-post area, the next most likely pass.

St. Joseph - "3" is a normal 1-2-2 zone, "31" applies a trap on the first pass when the ball is passed below the free-throw line extended.

Tubby Smith - 2-3 zone - trapping the first pass is usually done out of a tandem.

Herb Brown - 2T 3-2 zone - trap the first pass to the wing or corner. On the pass to 2, X3 zones up the middle and does not deny a pass back to 1, X5 is the goaltender. If 1 passes to 4, X2 and X4 trap and X5 would front a low post.

Trapping the first pass (or first penetrating pass) is an option in a halfcourt man or zone press.

See Defences - Tar Heels scramble, George Mason scramble, 1-2-2 halfcourt press, also 2-3 Tubby Smith.

Trap again on a pass to the corner, X2 traps with X4.

X1 stays to take away the sideline, X5 drops to cover the low post, X3 drops to cover the high post (a "red" trap, leaving open a skip pass).

Blue option (less risky) - X1 bumps X3 and covers the elbow, X3 covers weakside..

Tar Heels - they like to double-team again on a short pass to the corner. X5 fronts the post.

The 1-2-2 can be used to defend sideline or baseline inbounds plays, see Defences - 3-2 Tubby Smith, and Tar Heels scramble for sideline options (e.g. "both").

Hoop Tactics - X - set up a 1-2-2 zone, trap when the ball is inbounded from a backcourt sideline, can go trap again on the next pass.

3) Match-up options

When a wing defender takes the ball, the weakside low defender can stay weakside for rebounding position, or come ballside (a 2-3 or 1-3-1 look), e.g. if the offence has (in order)

- low post and corner filled (an attacker below the ball)
- high post and low post.

Box out your match-up on a shot, close out on a pass to your match-up.
NBA teams use hybrid man-zones that flood ballside and leave two weakside defenders covering three guys.

a) Corner filled

A common tactic against a 1-2-2 zone is to fill the ballside low post and corner, X4 has to defend the low post, get out to the corner on a pass, and not get pinned in by 5.

To match up, X4 goes over 5, X5 comes across to replace X4, X3 drops to protect weakside.

Winning Hoops - Installing a 1-2-2 match-up - X5 covers in order his corner, block, the other block, and high post.

X4 could deflect a pass to the low post with his right hand, X5 is between the ball and the basket.

10 zone - if 1 passes to 2, X5 drops behind the post and gets help from X2 who drops down.

b) High post

Against a 1-3-1 entry set, X5 has no attacker in his area of the zone, and can

- come up to cover the high post
- come up 3-4 feet behind 4
- come up if 4 gets a pass
- come up if 4 gets a pass and faces the basket.

Here X5 stays low.

X1 can choke, dig or trap on a pass to 4.

Flip Saunders - if the offence uses a 1-4 high set, bring up both low defenders.
Coach Mac - getting the ball into the high post is what hurts a 1-2-2 zone the most. On a pass to 4, bring up X4 or X5 to guard the ball, he likes to designate which player. The top defender can dig, the wings must not pinch in.
Auburn - on a pass to 4 from the point, X4 takes the ball.

See Defences - 1-2-2 slider basics, 1-2-2 slider.

On a pass to 2, X5 come ballside and gets between the ball and the basket, or pinches the high post with X1.

Oliver - the high post is covered by the weakside low defender.

Paul Hewitt - X5 is between the ball and the basket, but would box out 4 if 2 shoots.

Saunders - X1 has his left hand in the passing lane to 4, he can't pinned by high post 4 on a skip pass.

See Defence - Point zone Paul Hewitt.

If 3 runs the baseline to create an overload, X5 helps on the low post so that X4 can get out to the corner, X1 covers the high post, X3 takes 1.

Since X1 covers the high post, the filled corner has priority for X5.

Oliver - X4 goes out on a pass to 3, X5 comes down to cover 5, X1 can cover the high post.up

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-18 Eric Johannsen