You usually don't see this in the NBA because I think it's just common knowledge that you should trap a faster, quicker guard, especially at the NBA level. But I see it at the lower levels all the time. When you trap the perimeter, you want to trap a slower weaker ball-handler that will likely panic and pick up their dribble.

I watched 2 games yesterday and 2 instances of this. The first was between the Celtics and the Bulls and the second was between the Spurs and the Blazers. In each case, the defensive team is trying to trap the primarily ball-handler bringing the ball down the floor. I actually think they might have worked but the traps need to be set a lot harder. Take a look,

Must Seal Sideline:

Whenever you trap, your lead trapper must work to seal the sideline and your secondary trapper must work to force the dribbler to either pick up their dribble or crab dribble backwards, thus sealing them in. In this case, neither the Bulls nor the Blazers do that, they allow the dribbler to beat them up the sideline,

Once the trap is broken, it's only a matter of time before the other team finds the open man or the open seam to score. At the lower levels, it might still work because you leave the worst man open, but in the NBA, the worst man is still a scoring threat.


I think it is why you see less trapping in the NBA. But I think trapping still works even at the highest level. The key is to trap the worst ball-handler and slowest player. They are more likely to turn the ball over, than the other team's best ball handler and quickest guard.

For a new video on trapping defenses, take a look at Don Meyer's DVD on Selective Trapping all for the bargain price of $35.00. Coach Meyer is the head coach of DivII Northern State University and the second winningest coach in college basketball history. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.