Prior to the big Duke/UNC matchup, I caught the first half of the Lakers game against the Hawks. Once Pao Gasol learns the intricacies of the triangle offense, they will be really tough to beat. I caught a few clips of what the Lakers like to do off of made baskets on occasion. They like to use a 1-2-2 full court press to create a turnover and get a quick score. Here is what it looked like,

It's a pretty simple 1-2-2 press. Atlanta actually does a pretty good job scheme wise to break it, but they just don't execute it well.

1-2-2 Full Court Press:

They trap the first pass, then try to take away the first pass. They start out in a 1-2-2, but the press really becomes more of a 1-2-1-1 with 4 players in the frontcourt.

They guard the inbounder and make the inbound pass a difficult one. X4 shades up from the long spot after the inbounder to take away the middle. X5 moves down to be the safety.

Once the ball is inbounded, X3, Lamar Odom immediately goes to trap. The pass gets reversed to the inbounder which causes X1 to setup to trap. O3 then tries to lob it to O1 at center court but X4 jumps the pass and gets the steal which they finish with a layup.


I know that full-court pressing is rare in the NBA, but I can't see why it wouldn't be effective. I realize that you wouldn't want to press extensively due to the length of games and the fatigue factor, but I think pressing in certain limited situations can catch the offense off guard and force a couple of turnovers and get a few easy baskets.

A similar version to the 1-2-2 is the 2-2-1 press defense, a classic video that breaks the 2-2-1 down is Jim Calhoun's DVD on the 2-2-1 press. Coach Calhoun uses a full-court soft version, but you can adapt it to a 3 quarter pretty easily using the same principles. As always, don't forget to check out the the X's and O's of Basketball forum to get all your hoops fill.