Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Tall Ferns transition

Mike McHugh
New Zealand Tall Ferns
FIBA Assist issue 30

Priorities in fast-break defence are basket defence (cover runners), slow down ball progress (channel the ball to the nearest sideline), and match up with remaining attackers in order of potential threat.

3-4-5 aggressively go to the boards on every shot, ensuring their defenders are more concerned about the ball than the fast break.

2 is the outlet, he goes to the foul line for the long rebound, tries to force the outlet receiver to catch the ball going back below the foul line (don't let him turn and go), then contains the dribbler and herds the ball to the sideline, not attacking the ball but allowing the ballhandler to dribble slowly. 1 is the safety and comes back as far as the deepest attacker (if 1 drives the basket, 2 is the safety).

The closest man to the defensive rebounder is the "plugger", pressuring the outlet pass, not allowing the rebounder to explode by on the dribble. The plugger then supports the on-ball defender against middle penetration by forming a middle triangle between the ball and his man (on the split line), in a position to trap or run and jump if called for.

The other two players are sprinters, then first one back releases the safety and protects the basket, matching up with the next most threatening attacker shading ballside. The next sprinter back will match up shading weakside.

Once released, the safety denies any ballside pass to the frontcourt. If the safety cannot release, he communicates which player must play ballside denial.

Here 4 is the plugger when O4 gets a defensive rebound.

3 is the first sprinter back, he instructs 1 to defend O2 cutting through to the corner, 3 becomes safety, and takes O3.

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2007-18 Eric Johannsen