defensive trends in basketball

The “Next” Defensive Trends in Basketball by Chris Filios

The “Next” Defensive Trends in Basketball is on the mind of most basketball coaches. There are a variety of ways teams are guarding the pick and roll:

-Teams with more traditional bigs tend to utilize the “Drop” or “Catch” coverage. This coverage is designed to keep the defensive big between ball and rim while sinking with the roll man, limit rotations, and force the ball-handler off the 3 point line and into mid-range jumpers. (NBA)
-Teams with more mobile bigs who don’t like to switch go with the traditional “Hedge” coverage. This is designed for a more aggressive attack against the pick and roll. This coverage impacts the offense more and forces the ball out of the ball handler’s hands and into making quicker decisions. (FIBA)

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More defensive trends in basketball:

-In the more modern game where there are more versatile bigs, teams are switching the pick and roll. (All levels)

-The coverage gaining more and more popularity recently at all levels of basketball is “Icing” or “Blue” coverage, where the defense tries to pin the offense to the sideline and force the ball to the baseline with the big in a catch position.

As offenses continue to find ways to exploit a defense’s pick and roll coverage, the defense must adjust and counter. Through necessity and innovation, the next big trend in pick and roll defense is being employed in Europe: the “Next” coverage.

The “Next” coverage is a jump switch type coverage that employs components of the hedge, switch, and drop coverages. It is designed to relieve stress on the defensive big, while maintaining an attacking mindset.

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