When going through highlights tonight, I found this clip interesting in the game between the Pacers and Jazz. What it shows is the need for proper communication on defense. In this case, the 2 defenders get in each other's way as the offensive players cross. This allows the split second for Mike Dunleavy Jr. to shoot his deadly 3-pointer. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

In this play here, Mike Dunleavy Jr. comes underneath teammate Shawne Williams for the spot up 3-pointer. Their defenders get crossed up because they haven't communicated with each other.

Now, since Dunleavy Jr. is a good shooter, I would've recommended that Gordan Giricek and Ronnie Brewer switch on the fly to make sure that he didn't get the ball. Actually, I think even if they didn't switch, because Brewer is late getting to the spot, it gets worse when Giricek gets in his way. Basically, you need to know who the shooters are on the other team, and communicated to make sure you don't leave them open. In this case, the cross mesh caused a momentary lapse which led to just enough time for Dunleavy to hit the open 3-pointer.

I watched some games last year with a local varsity high school team. They were one of the top teams and on defense, they always communicated. You could see players constantly talking, pointing, and helping each other out. True team defense requires that each and every person on the team is on the same page, that everyone knows what the goals are going into each game. Sometimes it's to double the post, or stopping baseline penetration, or making sure the opposing team's best shooter doesn't get the ball.

If your looking for some defensive drills and ideas for your team to use in practice, take a look at the latest 5Star DVD on Defensive Philosophy and drills. Some good ideas to help you develop a team identity on defense and to focus on specific team goals going into each game.
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