I talk alot about man defense here, manning up, tough lockdown defense. I do it because I think it's important. I think that your offense will only be as good as your ability to stop your opponents. If your team is not blessed with a lot of talent, it is a must that you defend, you can't win without it. Tonight, the Raptors flew across the country to play on west coast time (10pm EST), in order to win this game, they would have to defend. It was interesting to me that the Raptors lost the other night to the vaunted Celtics and the Raptors all talked about becoming a better team defensively. Last I checked, the Raptors were seventh in PPGA. Anyways, rambling on a bit, the point here is that when they were down by 10 or so at halftime, they would need some stops, especially on a night when their shooting was atrocious. So, how exactly do you win a game on the road shooting 37.5% overall and 20% from downtown? Watch the video below to find out,

Double the Post:

Though the Clippers are no Celtics and Chris Kaman is no Dwight Howard, you must protect the paint. In the clip, Kaman comes off of a PNR and Chris Bosh is left to defend him. The Raptors do a great job of collapsing into the paint, forcing Kaman to kick it back out,

Yes, it is essentially a quad-team. Probably not what I would've suggested, but it does accomplish the goal of forcing Kaman into a tough spot, and making him kick it back out.

Recover and Closeout:

Now, we're talking NBA players here. If this was your HS team, the center probably would've thrown a bad pass OB, taken a bad shot or blocked, or traveled. Kaman is a good player and makes a good pass out of the quad-team.

I can't really tell, but I think it's Anthony Parker, X2, that does a great job here of recovering to Corey Maggette, O2. He doesn't bite on the shot fake, then Anthony closes out the baseline drive by Corey, helped by X3 who I think is Jamario Moon. By now, the shot clock is about 3 seconds and Corey can only pull back and try a fade away baseline jumper. I believe he actually doesn't get it off in time.


What I loved about the sequences in the video clip is that the Raptors defended for the entire 24 seconds. And they did it twice on consecutive defensive possessions. It was a critical point in the game where Chris Bosh was going 1-on-1 offensively as the team was shooting blanks, and they needed stops to make a run, which they did.

It's that old adage, defense wins championships. I don't have to believe it, you don't have to believe it, your players have to believe it. As coaches, we always stress defense, but it's really just lip service unless your players actually do it.

Just in time for the holidays, Jamie Dixon's new DVD on his 10-point shell drill for better M2M defense is now available for purchase. Coach Dixon is head coach for the 11th ranked Pittsburgh Panthers who look to be quite the formidable defensive team this season. As always, be sure to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.