To Help or Not to Help

This is one of those in-game adjustments that I think is important when you are using a M2M defense. Knowing when to help and when not to help. Knowing the situation, knowing your opponent, are all critical factors that go into what you decide.

If the team you are playing is known to have a great 2-guard who can hit the 3, obviously you would want to stay at home.

What about the situation where your team is up by 3 late in the game, do you help on penetration and give up a possible open 3-pointer? Or do you take your chances 1-on-1 in the perimeter or in the post.

Or what if you are playing against a team that plays the AASAA Walberg/Calipari offense. Do you tell your perimeter players to help on penetration or stay at home on the shooters.

One way or another, I think the worst thing is indecision in both the players and you as a coach. I think if you are playing M2M, you have to either hedge and stop the penetration, or stay at home with the shooters. If your players don't really do either, basically if they are just stuck in the middle not doing either, it will result in both penetration baskets and 3-pointers. I think it's critical to prepare your team for both the situation and opponent and know when to help and when not to help.

If you are looking for something different in a M2M defense, take a look at Jack Bennett's DVD on a gapping M2M defense. Very much like a matchup zone with specifics on how to help and recover, doubling the post and much much more.

For notes or more discussions, check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum.