Concept - Beating A Zone Press Using Side / Middle / Reverse
There are many ways to break full court pressure - and they can change based on the type of pressure you're facing. Whatever you decide, remember these three words - side, middle, reverse.
When playing tough full court zone pressure teams it can sometimes feel as if there's 12 defenders on the court - but of course there are only 5, and 2 of them are guarding one player.
This leaves 3 players to guard your remaining 4, and at least one of them will likely start long, protecting the rim.
In this example the defense is playing a 1-2-1-1 zone press. The 1-2-1-1 is one of the most aggressive zone presses you will see. It's designed to be disruptive - forcing teams into turnovers by playing at a pace they aren't ready for.
Rule #1 - keep your guards out of the corners. Players will often start right by the baseline, or cut into one of the corners. This feeds into the defense's hands, as they can use the baseline and/or sideline as additional defenders. Have your guard cut to an area where he/she has room to maneuver without worrying about stepping out of bounds.
The ball has been inbounded, and the trap is on.
Rule #2 - Head The Rim & Don't Waste Your Dribble
When the guard receives the ball, the first thing they need to do is put their head on the opposite rim, so that they can see the entire floor. DO NOT let your players fall into the trap of dribbling on the catch. Read first, then react.
Side / Middle / Reverse
If two players are guarding one, somebody is open - provided the floor is properly spaced.
By properly spacing your zone offense, you force the two non-trapping backcourt defenders to make a decision on which player they're going to take away. They can not take away all three options.
One player must be on the sideline - one player must flash to the middle of the floor, and the third (normally the inbounder) must position themselves behind the "line of the ball". This is the reversal player.
Send your 5th player long to occupy the defense's long defender. This keeps the defense honest - preventing the long defender from cheating up to take away one of the three offensive players in the back court.
Side & Middle taken away
Middle & Reverse taken away
Side & Reverse taken away
Side, Middle & Reverse all taken away... over the top!
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