Trusting in the 2-3 zone

Another loss this past Saturday, I think we lost by 30 or so. I ran my freaking guts out and put everything I had on the court, but still cane up short in the end. At the end of the day, I always struggle with knowing that I tried my best but not good enough to win the game.

We let up 76 freaking points. That’s a huge amount for a 40 minute game in a rec league. It basically means we played no defense whatsoever. On a separate note we also couldn’t get up enough shots because of turnovers, but that’s another story. The main thing I want to focus on is the 2-3 zone and how playing in the bottom 3 of the zone requires a bit of trust.

  • Committing to the d. The biggest hole in the 2-3 zone is when there are two wing men and one of them flashes to the middle. Being the guy in the middle, I need to step up and guard that guy leaving the bottom of the key open. I try to “straddle” my position by not fully committing to guarding the guy with the ball at the top of the key, but that ultimately means he gets a pretty easy shot and still has the opportunity to pass it to someone cutting down low. If you are going to step to the top of the key, really step up and guard as if you were playing man defense.
  • Calling out the cutters. I don’t know how many times I’ve rotated top the top of the key and one someone just cuts towards the basket and gets an easy pass from my man. Keeping your eyes on the peripheral cutters and calling them out to the other two guys at the bottom of the zone will ensure they can take care of those cutters. Maybe it’s too late, maybe the cutters are too fast, but if you don’t trust that they got your back, then the D you play at the top of the key is a meaningless endeavor. Can you trust that your guys will rotate and move the right position? Sometimes I don’t trust, and try to play more positions than one, and ultimately get spread to thin since you’re trying to be in two spots at once. Trust is the key.
You think back to these defensive sets to see where things broke down, and how the opponent got such an easy layup, and it comes down to being quick and sliding your feet.

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