You will be considered an "incomplete player", if you don't play basketball defense. As a basketball player, you can be the greatest scorer of all time but you won't get the respect that you deserve if you don't play defense...
Besides, I don't believe that there's ever been a single basketball team since the invention of the game of basketball that's won a championship basketball game by simply trying to outscore their opponents without playing or emphasizing basketball defense--it just doesn't happen! Simply put, the success of any basketball team begins with each player committing to playing aggressive team defense.
In order to become an excellent basketball defensive player, you must master the fundamentals of how to play effective basketball defense. When you're playing defense in basketball, you're always trying to create scoring opportunities for your team by causing offensive turnovers. One way of creating an offensive turnover is by taking a "charge" without being called for a blocking violation.
Successfully taking a charge as a defensive player is great for your team, because the offensive player is called for committing an offensive foul and your team gets possession of the basketball immediately. However, taking a charge is an art form. Shane Battier, one of the top NBA defensive players, explains in the following video how to take a charge the right way. Make sure that you take some notes.
When you're playing basketball defense, in addition to trying to create offensive turnovers, you're also trying to prevent your basketball opponent from scoring in your basket. One great way of doing this when your opponent is already in the act of shooting the basketball is shot blocking. Shot blocking is truly a powerful weapon for a defensive player who knows how to do it right. Emeka Okafor, one of NBA's best shot blockers, explains how to block shots effectively in the following video. Again, take some notes.
Having the "right attitude" on defense.
When playing defense, you simply cannot lay back and let the team with the ball do as it pleases. You must get very aggressive, and "outfight" the offense.
At every opportunity you get, aim to take the ball away from the offensive team and disrupt their play. To score, you've got to have the ball. To get the ball, you've got to battle for it.
When playing defense, you can disrupt the offensive play by stealing the ball, by interception of passes, by controlling the backboards, by fighting through screens, by forcing held balls,and by putting constant pressure on the offense. You can find a great selection of basketball defensive plays here.
If you don't put pressure on the other team as they try to run their offensive plays, they will successfully execute one play after another with relative ease.
If you apply sufficient pressure on the defensive end, the offense team will be more likely to make bad passes, commit walking violations, miss easy shots and lose confidence.
This forcing of the offense is at the very heart of good defensive play. And that applies to team or individual.
Establish the right "spacing" between you (defensive player) and the offensive player.
The distance you stand from the offensive player depends on whether he has the ball...
If he does, stand close enough to discourage an attempt to shoot over you. Still, stand back far enough to discourage an attempt to drive around you. Give him the impression you're able to cope with anything he’ll try to do.
If the person you're guarding fakes a shot, never, never leave your feet. If he fakes a drive, simply drop straight back a step until you're sure of what he's going to do.
If the offensive player is a faster player than you, play him looser than usual. If he's slower than you, close in a bit. An outside shooter wants to be played closer than a player whose best weapon is a driving layup.
Basketball Defensive Tips:
• Never stop pressing the offense. In other words, don't
• Never tip the ball as it comes off the defensive basket.
Always catch it.
• Never pass the ball across the back lane. Take it away
from the lane. First, by a quick pass out to a
breaking teammate. Second, by dribbling.
• When playing in the man-for-man defense, always stay
between your opponent and the basket.
• In a man-on-man defense, if you can't see the ball
and your man at the same time, face the man and be
mindful of the fact that the ball may be passed to him.
• If you think you're being screened, close up on your
man and crash through. If you're being used to screen
out a teammate, loosen up and let your teammate slide
through and be alert to the possibility of a switch.
• If your man gets one shot and misses, don't let him get
• When playing two men, remember that the man closest
to the basket is the most dangerous.
Finally, at all times, “help out” the rest of your teammates on defense.
Click on the links below to find out more valuable information on how to play basketball defense.