How To Analyze Your Half Court Defense by Tom Kelsey

How do you break down your defensive stats for your team? Most coaches have a variety of ways to chart how their team is playing with the Half Court Defense.

Here is a way to pinpoint where you are getting best and who is getting beat.  Charting your breakdowns allows you to see what you need to work on for your next practice.

While at LSU I began charting the last 100 made baskets from our opponents. I wanted to know who was scoring, how they were scoring, and where they were scoring.

The more and more I evaluated other teams I began to see how we could do the same for our team. So then I came up with a chart to show where our defensive breakdowns were coming from and what players were involved in the breakdown.

Most often two or more players cause or create the breakdown. Charting each made basket and the players involved as well as the missed defensive technique allows a coach to know who and what needs to be improved.

One chart you will see a column for the possession, what type of basket or play was it, what defensive technique was not executed, what players were involved in the play and how many points scored.

Now you can easily chart games and see what type of plays, what players and what area of your defense are giving you the most problems.

Practice planning and game planning are easier since you can accurately pinpoint where you are deficient on the defensive end.

Using these in a spreadsheet allows you to total up (the type of plays, players, technique) how exactly you are getting hurt on the defensive end of the floor.

As coaches, we like to go to absolutes. “They are killing us with transition; Brent can’t guard anyone, We are terrible at guarding ball screens.”

Really? Those all may be true.

Instead of making a blanket statement use the chart to see what is killing your team and if a player can’t guard anyone and you are terrible at guarding ball screens in your half court defense

You may be surprised at what is causing your Half Court Defense problems.

Here is I how I use the chart:

Column for Possession number, Type of play, Defensive technique, Player, Points on the play.

# Play defensive technique Player Pts
1 loose ball/kick out for 3 poor closeout 3
2 post kick out for 3 overhelp off shooter 3
3 lob to post poor helpside defense 2
poor ball pressure
4 floater in the lane no contain 2
5 jump shot not pressuring the ball 2
6 baseline inbounds for 3 not seeing man and ball 3
7 baseline inbounds for 3 lunging 3
8 post kick out for 3 not seeing man and ball 3
overhelp in the post
9 driving layup no contain 2
poor helpside defense
10 3 point shot vs zone no communication 3
not getting to shooter
11 jump shot in zone not getting to shooter 2
12 2/1 fast break not getting to shooter 2
no contain
13 putback no blockout 2
no communication
14 pull up jump shot no contain 2
15 open 3 not getting to shooter
no communication 3
16 baseline drive and jumper no contain 2
17 loose ball and 3 point shot free man goes for steal 3
no communication on switching
18 pull up jumper no contain 2
19 jump hook in the paint no post denial 2
20 fouled on baseline drive no contain 1
21 penetrate and pitch no communication 3
no contain
22 backdoor no contain 2
not seeing man and ball
23 baseline drive and layup no contain 2

Taking the breakdown from another game and sorting to see which areas need the most work.

For our next practice we know we need to emphasize on our half court defense.

If a player gets fouled in the act of shooting, I count it as a made basket. If an opponent misses a wide-open shot and we had a breakdown, I will count that as a made basket.

The goal is to see what areas are hurting your team.

Poor block out or no blockout: 6 times

No Communication: 4 times

Not containing the drive: 11 times

No help: 4 times

No pressure on the ball: 4 times

Over help (off shooters or post): 6 times

Breakdown totals
backdoor layup 1
no blockout 6
no blockout
no blockout
no blockout (had to come over to help)
no blockout
no blockout
poor closeout 2
no closeout
no communication 4
no communication
no communication
no communication
no contain 11
no contain
no contain
no contain
no contain
no contain
no contain
no contain
no contain strong hand
no contain strong hand
no contain to strong hand
no denial in press 2
no denial in sideline inbounds
no help 4
no help
no help on drive
no helpside
no cover down 1
no post denial 2
no post denial
no pressure on the ball 4
no pressure on the ball
no pressure on the passer
no pressure on passer
no protecting the rim 1
no umbrella 1
not enough players getting back/Transition 1
not staying on the ground on shot fake 1
not trailing when getting around screen 1
over help off shooter 6
over help off shooter
overplay on the closeout no basket help
overplay out of position
overplay out of position
overplay way out of position

Remember most of the time you have two breakdowns that allow a team to score.

A player does not guard the dribble; teammate comes over to help, leaves shooter, or post. The ball gets kicked to the shooter for an open shot or shot taken, and the player does not get blocked out.

The ball does not get pressured, post or wing not denied and the opponent gets an easy basket.

For this game, we see the ability to not contain the drive is our chief nemesis. With over help and missed block outs hurting as well. For the next practice, we know these areas need to be improved.

I believe charting your games by looking at the defensive breakdowns allows a coach to watch a game differently. Now instead of complaining how certain players or certain parts of the Half Court Defense are killing your team, a coach can pinpoint what needs to be addressed.

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