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Youth Coaching Tag

When defending a player on the wing, you should do everything you can to keep the ball from being dribbled into the middle. This means forcing, influencing, or shading the ball towards the corner/baseline and then working hard at stopping the drive (by yourself) before the attack reaches the short corner. Basketball defender guarding a basketball dribbler The above sentiment is nothing revolutionary, but let's examine why it works.

When the ball drives baseline, there are several factors in favor of the defense:

  1. The offense is actually decreasing the usable court space.
  2. The baseline becomes a defensive “sixth man”.
  3. Shooting angles are not as good as being in the middle of the floor (read: shooting percentages drop).
  4. Natural passing angles are fewer and more difficult.
  5. Non-ball defenders seem to drop toward the goal more easily than when the ball is driven into the middle.
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