Never Too Late Basketball's Tips & Tales

get more game

Deception on Defense: The Steal After the Score

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 27, 2010

When saying “basketball is a game of deception”, most of the images and examples that come to mind are the deceptions on the offensive end of the court: I’m going left, no I’m not, I’m going right. I’m taking this outside shot, sorry, I think I’ll drive to the hoop now that I’ve deceived you into thinking I was shooting! I’m stepping outside to catch this pass, oh-oh, backdoor pass for a layup! And on and on. But what of deception on defense? Deception cannot apply only to half the game, can it?

Deception is “the game within the game” and it takes place all over the court. There are numerous examples of where and when deception proves worthwhile on defense. I’ll tell you my absolute favorite in the hope that it will become your favorite defensive ploy and that you’ll use it, too. (Larry Bird, by the way, was the best ever at this.) After you’ve scored and you are under the hoop, teammates herding down the center of the court to your defensive end and as a couple players from the opposition are about to casually inbound and catch the inbounds pass, respectively, you act like you are going to join your mates; you’re just looking all lazy, slow to get back. Noting where the receiver is, you turn your back to the ball, taking one or two or more steps away (gauging when the ball will be thrown in) and then, quick as a cat from under a bush, you step into the passing lane and grab the inbounds pass, that lazy unsuspecting inbounds pass (probably a fat slow bouncing one that nestles into your hands, hip high, thank you) and either you score yourself (fun!) or wait for your teammates (who now regard you as a hero, and who probably won’t really ever trust you, either, deceiver that you are).


One Response to “Deception on Defense: The Steal After the Score”

  1. Steve Watkins said

    That is a good ploy – and it works great. I have to share this other one that I read in a book just last night. The book is called “Stuff Good Basketball Players Should Know” by Dick Desenzio (one of several great books by him). He explains a pet defensive trick of his that he falls back on in clutch situations. I believe he got this from Tom Heinsohn, because he makes refernce to it in one of his other books.

    Anyway, here is the move: As a guard is dribbling the ball down court, overplay him to force him to his weak side. Stay fairly close to him so he has to be wary of you, but not so close that he can blow by you with a burst of speed. So know he is dribbling with his weak hand(usually left). All of a sudden, out of nowhere, move yourself as quickly as possible over to his weak side without even making any play for the ball. This sudden move is just a ploy designed to startle him and get him confused. Chances are, he will fumble with the ball without using his body to protect it and he will try to move it over to his right. Don’t ask me why he doesn’t protect it – that is just what happens. At that point, the ball will be loose and you can steal it.

    Decenzio said that he read that in a book or article somewhere and went out and tried it and it worked unbelieveably his very first time. After that, he used it over and over whenever his team needed a steal and saved it for late game situations

    I am here to tell you that I read that just last night. I played ball this morning in a pickup game, tried the move and it worked perfectly the very first time. I did not wait for the end of the game though, I tried it in the middle of the game. We got an easy layup out of it. That move is now in my “pet move” box that I will pull out when we really need a steal and easy layup.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: