Never Too Late Basketball's Tips & Tales

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“Defensive Intensity in a Pick-up Game”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on August 10, 2006

defensive-intensity.jpgYou want to get a workout playing basketball? You want to challenge yourself and make yourself better? You want to do the player you are matched up with a favor or at least find out if he or she is really a player? Then concentrate 100% of the time on the defensive end. How does that manifest itself? First, pick up the ball handler full court. Full court . . . the whole thing. Force the player to zig-zag the dribble up court or pass it off. Next, deny passes to your player everywhere in the half court (while having an eye towards “helping”, of course). Say to yourself that your player will never touch the ball. What a goal! When he or she does catch it (shame on you), contest the ball and do not let the ball handler get by your shoulders. MOVE YOUR FEET! Or, as Tommy Heinsohn says, “keep the ballhandler between your knees”. Oh yeah, make contact and box out – physically – on every shot. Hope upon hope that the person who is matched up with you takes the same approach: you will each end the game better players, you will have had a much better workout, done the “game” itself a service and, hopefully, won the respect of the other players on the court. Also, if it’s any kind of player at all you were matched up with, he or she will come shake your hand, smack your butt, say “good work” at game’s conclusion.

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