I love watching guys work hard on defense. As a coach, there's nothing that is more satisfying than 5 guys working as a unit to stop the other team. When I coached football, I was a defensive coordinator and I just loved watching guys flying around the field looking to hit somebody.

Caught the first half last night of the preseason game between the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls played in Champagne, home of the Illini. There was a great Bruce Weber interview (excerpts in the clips) but what I wanted to show was just how hard the Jazz were competing on defense in these sequences. They were basically in a switching M2M to defend against the PNRs but overall, 5 guys flying around the court competing. Watch,

Just great stuff. Now, the defense wasn't perfect, nothing in life is. Because of the switching, it created mismatches which allowed the Bulls to get an offensive rebound in the first sequence, and Kirilenko got crossed over pretty badly by Heinrich I believe. But I wanted to point out a couple of things.

Don't stop Defending:

Now, because of the PNR switch, Deron Williams is forced to box out the much taller Tyrus Thomas. The result is a predictable offensive rebound by the Bulls. But it's what happens after that is great to see. All the Jazz players rotate as quickly as possible closing out the ball first,

Too many times I see players quit after the offensive rebound. Those things will happen, but your players have to just keep competing until they do get the stop.

I got your back:

First off, make sure your players are getting back in transition defense. Watch how Carlos Boozer makes sure he picks up his man going the other way. Don't get beat by your man down the court,

Now, because of the switching, Kirilenko is forced to defend Heinrich. Kirilenko gambles on the swipe and Heinrich crosses him over. He attacks the rim, but watch Mehmet Okur step up on help defense. Then even better, watch Kyle Korver fly in from the top of the key with the hard foul against Tyrus Thomas not allowing him to dunk the ball,


The only thing you can ask for from your players is that they give it 100%. On defense, that really is all that it takes. If your players buy in completely to that concept, everything else will come easier. Mistakes will be made, but the important thing is that your players play for each other and don't quit on each other.

It was great listening to Bruce Weber talk about that incredible team with Deron Williams, Luther Head, Dee Brown... that went to the final four. That was a great team and brings back a lot of great final four memories.

For a great defensive drills video, check out Bruce Weber's DVD on 20 Competitive Defensive Drills. Coach Weber is the head coach of the University of Illinois. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.