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The Tribe

In traditional basketball offenses, a selfish player can kill what the team is trying to accomplish. Ultimately, that player will force the offense to break down and lose five-player coordination. This means that traditional offenses are only as strong as the weakest link - a selfish player. Even your trustworthy "team-player" can occasionally stray from the herd and do his or her own thing with the same results - a loss of teamwork. This is not the case with the Read & React Offense. Layers 3, 4, 5, and 6 are engineered to absorb selfish player actions and turn them into opportunities.

Part of effective teaching is putting techniques in terms that are easily transferable and easily remembered. Dynamic Defense helps you do just that. In order to make proper one-on-one defensive spacing easy to understand, I've defined it in terms of a conversation with the help of a personal space bubble. We all enjoy our personal space and when people operate outside of the societal conventions of that space, things get weird quick. Those conventions can help players quickly recognize appropriate defensive spacing (depending on the situation) while allowing you, the coach, to quickly communicate what you want. First, use your imagination to picture a translucent bubble surrounding the offensive player. It should be just large enough that if the offensive player extends their arms in front of them, they'll be touching the edge of their bubble. This is that personal space bubble that we are inherently familiar with. Now, with the bubble as a guideline, let's discuss conversational defensive positioning. Conversation Distance: Most of the time, we want players to play on the surface of the bubble. In other words, they should be stuck to the bubble at all times - close enough to discourage a shot, bother the dribble, and deflect passes. This would be the correct distance to shake hands with another person, or to have a normal conversation. Most well adjusted people instinctively know the appropriate distance socially required to have a one-on-one conversation. That's conversation distance.

To understand Level 3 in the Dynamic Defense, you must first understand Situations. So, what's a Situation? Put simply: a situation is an offensive action that demands a switch or a double-team in order to stop the ball. That means if help and recover techniques (Level 2) are not enough to stop an offensive attack, that attack has just been escalated to a situation and now requires a Level 3 defender. A Level 3 defender can recognize situations and either switch or double-team to stop the action. Well, as you can imagine, it would be difficult to list every Situation so instead I've focused the lens on a typical action that creates a Situation for many teams: Feeding the Post. The video below is an excerpt from Dynamic Defense, our newly released DVD series on taking your defense to the next level… literally. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwCTNrSydVc&feature=youtu.be Now, feeding the post doesn't always create a situation. If the post player can be defended one-on-one, then there’s no Level 3 Situation. But, oftentimes that offensive post player demands the attention of a double-team.

Here's what I mean. Within Dynamic Defense, there are four basic defensive levels for players to achieve. The first level requires you to be able to guard the ball and keep it out of the middle one-third of the floor. To achieve the second level, a player must not only guard the ball, but he or she must be able to defend away from the ball. That means being in a position to help a teammate keep the ball from being shot, driven, or passed into the middle one-third. A Level Three defender must be able to guard the ball, guard away from the ball and to also guard situations. What’s a situation? It’s an offensive action that has forced the defense to switch and rotate. You’ll know you’re about to define a situation when your players say, “Coach, what do we do in this situation?” The Level Four defender knows the best way for everyone to rotate out of a Level 3 situation, and get back to their original responsibilities, without giving up a basket. Now, what’s dynamic about those four levels?