Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Trail trap

Chris Oliver

Force the ball sideline then turn it back middle, trap the ball by leaving the offensive player who clears out last, rotate to deny the ballside wing, the middle or reversal, and the basket.

Steals are a bonus, disruption is the goal - timing, spacing, and preventing a team from getting comfortably over half into their offence. Make the point guard stop, pass or change direction.

X4 covers the ball and is as active as possible, force a pass to the ballside short corner to start, sometimes they force the inbounder to pass with his weak hand. Back-end defenders are on the line, up the line, butt to the middle.

X1 is not denying, they want 1 to catch it, then X1 gaps and forces sideline, don't jam him and get beat. Give 1 space to dribble up the sideline.

X4 turns and sprints to get ahead of the ball to the slant position, a lop-sided triangle. X4's first step can't be toward the ball, they want to contain it.

Full denial option - X4 is the safety, he covers the deep inbounds pass, everyone else face guards, switches everything, and doesn't look at the ball.

See Defence - Havoc double-fist.

In practice, do 1-on-1 turn the ball and 2-on-2 live on the trail trap, see Pressing - Trail trap breakdowns.

X2 denies a pass up the ballside wing and is not involved in rotation.

X1 forces sideline then sprints, gets ahead of 1 with a gap, and turns him.

Trap on the turn of the dribbler back to the middle, the closest weakside defender must cheat towards the ball. As the ball moves away to the sideline, X4 moves closer to the ball, anticipating, and is there when 1 turns.

Middle defender X3 can make decisions, e.g. if they're being passive, or just worried about disrupting or getting it out of the match-up's hand, then they want to trap 1 and get the ball to the inbounder, they don't want to rotate, X3 bluffs, X4 recovers, then make 4 play 1- on-1, deny everyone else.

X3 gets into position to cushion the dribbler on a reversal pass to prevent a fast dribble attack, leaving space so he doesn't get beat. The cushion also gives time for the trail trappers to recover.

If inbounder 4 clears out, X4 acts like he is clearing out too (be deceptive), then he goes to trap on the dribbler's turn. The trail trap can happen early or late depending on when the clear-out happens.

Full aggression - X3 rotates to deny or steal a pass to the inbounder as soon as he sees trapper X4 go, forcing the furthest pass on the floor (to 3).

If 4 moves up the middle on the trail trap, X3 moves up to deny him; if 4 stays behind the ball, it's not worth the risk.

If there is a completed pass to the inbounder now it's a 4-on-3, form a defensive triangle, X1 and X4 sprint back to recover ahead of the ball.

Sometime steals come out of the trap, against good teams steals come out of recovery and rotation.

On a pass to 3, the triangle rotates, X5 takes the ball, X2 covers 5. The first trapper back is low weakside i, the second is the high i. They don't care about match-ups, they just want to recover.

The trail trap always happens from weakside. If 1 dribbles toward slant X4 and inbounder 4 goes in that direction, the slant goes with him, denies a ballside pass, and is not the trail trapper any more, the trail trapper is weakside.

(Option - X4 traps if 1 drives middle, see Scramble fullcourt, Walberg 2-2-1, Wootten fullcourt)

Trap the ball by leaving the offensive player who clears out last. Here guard 2 stays back to help (a 2-up press break). If inbounder 4 clears before 1 puts the ball on the floor, X4 goes with him, the trail trap happens from weakside X2.

The trail trap can be effective in the halfcourt, take away the ballside wing, the rim, and full rotate to take away reversal, leaving the furthest pass to the weakside as the only option.

The trail trap is not scripted, players must make decisions based on what they read.

The easiest way to build the defence is 4-on-4 or 5-on-5 live fullcourt.

See Defence - Mavs fullcourt.up

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-18 Eric Johannsen