I noticed that I haven't posted many drill info so I thought I would do that today. Here are some great defensive drills for practicing help defense concepts that I drew up out of a 2009 Nike Coaches Clinic set of notes. They are based out of a clinic performed by Mike Rice of Robert Morris University.

George Karl Drill:
Drill starts with a coach at the top of the key and an offensive player on the wing and one in the corner with a defensive player covering each. Drill begins with the coach penetrating to the middle of the defense where x1 is forced to step in to help. The drill focuses on x2 as he is forced to help up the line on the pass to 1 and scramble back to his man as x1 sprints to recover. Emphasize helping up the line. X2 sagging back into the lane flat with x2 is NOT help defense.

Help the Helper Drill:
"I HATE working on getting beat, but you got to do it." Run this drill with several variations/formations. All drill variations begin with a coach acting as the defender being beaten (use blocker pads to bump penetrating guard to help build toughness). The post defender is forced to step over to provide help and the other guard must drop to discourage the offensive guard from making the dump-down pass to post (emphasize for the guard to have his hand across post’s chest). If the ball is kicked back out, the guard must closeout. Make it competitive by keeping score. 3 variations below.

Final variation is with 4 on offense, 3 on defense. Must take away the baseline drive first, then the post dump-off, then the weakside corner 3-pointer, if the pass goes back up top, then weakside guard has to closeout. We practice taking away the weakside corner 3-pointer because the offense will usually put their best 3-pointer there.

Probably in real life, you will have X2 stay on O2 and X3 drop down to cover O5 instead, but the drill above is better at practicing rotations and recovering.

For a brand new video, check out Kevin Boyle's DVD on Building a Man Defense. Coach Boyle is head coach of St. Patrick's High Shool in New Jersey and a part of the NIKE Grassroots Basketball Program.