Basketball Defense: Ways To Defend Someone Who Is Much Quicker Than Yourself

Basketball Defense:

Ways To Defend Someone Who Is Much Quicker Than Yourself

By Jeff Haefner, owner of

Trying to equalize a physical mismatch is certainly one of the more difficult aspects of the game.

The easy answer is, don’t let the quicker player get the ball. But, like most things in life, that is easier said than done. With all the responsibilities you have when playing defense off the ball, such as weak side help and rebounding, it is difficult to deny your man the ball without hurting your team’s overall defense.

Remember two basic rules of basketball defense, don’t let them score and your job is to dictate to the offense. Assuming your man has the ball, let’s develop a plan. First, if your man is quicker than you and can put the ball on the floor, the further you play him from the basket, the higher the probability that he will beat you. Therefore, give him plenty of room if he is outside his scoring area. You have to toughen up as he gets into an area where he can hurt you so you have to get help. Alert your teammates how you plan to play your man and that you will need help if you get beat on the dribble. As you toughen up, dictate to him and make him do what you want him to do and don’t allow him to do what he wants to do.

If he has the ball in the middle of the floor, choose which side you want him to go toward. It can be toward his weak hand, it can be toward your best help defender, it doesn’t matter. Just get him out of the middle of the court and keep him out. If he has the ball on the wing, drive him to the corner. If he has the ball in the corner, drive him to the baseline.

All of this has 2 effects. First, it shrinks the court. If he is quicker than you, the more room he has, the more his quickness becomes an advantage. By shrinking the court, it gives him limited room in which to use his quickness and goes a long way toward making it less effective. The second thing it does is it helps your teammates know where to find the ball and makes it easier for them to help you. Team basketball defense beats individual offense every time.

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