With the shot clock, pressing can slow down the offence, e.g., taking more time to get the ball across the time line, and passing to a guy who doesn't normally start the offence. Try to get the ball into a trapping area, if not it's no big deal, you have disrupted their flow (even if there is no shot clock).
Trapping areas or boxes are on the sidelines on either side of the time line (halfcourt trap areas are great with slow guys who have size). As the game goes on, they can add pressure and speed it up, e.g., face-guard deny after a free throw, and change the trapping areas, e.g. an early trap in the frontcourt (coffin) corners with long athletic guys.
If the ball is dribbled into a trap box, the trap comes from the two front-line players (see below for a pass into a trap box). Here X3 forces the ball up the sideline (he can't get beat middle), X4 gets in the middle, X3 sprints, beats 1 to a spot and turns the ball, X4 traps from behind.
The defence can't allow a throw over the top to a shooter for an open shot, be with him on the catch. X5 sees everything, he has to communicate.
See Defences - 2-2-1 Walberg, 2-2-1 Kimble ("In" stunt), also 2-2-1 UConn (Three up) and 1-2-1-1 Kentucky (Black).
It's hard to break down the press in practice, they have very few 2 on 2 or 3 on 3 drills. One day the practice rule is that the ball has to cross halfcourt on the dribble, the next day the ball has to cross on the pass (and the backline should take away passing lanes).
The other defenders read the trap and where to go:
- if it's a great trap, there are no rules, they can do whatever they want, e.g. X5 can leave the basket, X2 can go for a steal on reversal (shown),
- if it's a good trap, they want protection, X5 can't leave the basket, X2 stays (can't go up on 4), they want the ball to go backwards and start over,
- if it's a bad trap, fall back (e.g., 1 splits the trap or beats X3 up the sideline).
If the ball is passed into a trap box, the trap comes from the two defenders on that side, here X3 and X1. X5 is at the basket, X2 and X4 run back hard.
(There is no one behind X1)
On a pass to a big in a non-trapping area, trap the hell out of him with the two closest players.
See Defence - 1-2-2 halfcourt press,
Here X2 and X4 trap on ball reversal to 3 in a trap box.
The 2-2-1 press can be used on a made or missed free throw, the front-row defenders are offensive rebounders unless shooting.
See Defence - Hurley 2-1-2.