Trapping is very effective for a zone defense. Instead, we rely upon players moving on the air time of the pass and a tactic we call ‘bumping’ (I’ll discuss this is detail a bit later in the article) that involves the forward on the ball-side quickly closing out on the wing player before getting bumped by the guard who quickly recovers to the wing. The center (5) fronts the post and is ready to sprint out and pick off or defend the player in the corner temporarily. If you have a slower team you can trap less and be patient until the other team takes a silly shot. If you have a bigger team, then you may only need your forwards and center to rebound and your guards can leak out for fast break opportunities. Similarly, using a 2–3 more evenly distributes fouls throughout the players on defense, meaning foul-prone players are less likely to accumulate many fouls or foul out. Note that in a 2-3 zone defense we don’t actively deny the pass to the wing players. Since the weak-side guard is denying the high post, it’s a long way to recover if there is a skip pass thrown. The widespread use of the 2–3 zone is likely due to its somewhat intuitive operation. Major weak spots wings and center of floor. For that reason, when the ball is passed into the post or short corner, we must immediately double and get the ball out of there! But I’ve found if used at the right time and against the right player, this trap can be very successful. We discourage both of those options by making sure the guards are close enough that they are nearly able to touch hands. In the video and diagrams below, you are given multiple ways to beat a 2-3 zone defense with a side ball screen. 1 - 3 - 1 Zone Major strength across free throw line and down middle. The main reason for this is that the 3-2 zone hard denies the wings from the top of the key and forces the opposition to initiate offense with a skip pass to the corner or to play through the mid-range. The zone defense was used because the gym floor was made of green pine and it was very slippery when wet, when the roof leaked.[1]. Tempo Control – A good zone defense can dictate how fast the game is played. You might have noticed that we skipped the short corner/post section when we were going over general positions. Ball screens in a zone can put pressure on the … Some teams simply can’t play against a 2-3 zone defense, so use it! I prefer to channel the ball towards the baseline as this makes it harder to pass to the high post and forces the offensive player towards our bigger defenders. The weak-side guard (1) denies the closest pass to the wing player, usually the point guard. The offensive team could end up with an easy layup. Therefore, hypothetically defensive players have more time to catch their breath as a result. To effectively operate the 2–3 zone, a defense must move as a whole. I could argue for hours the reasons you shouldn’t use a zone defense in youth basketball (and have had to too many times, unfortunately)…. Either way, there will always be gaps and a zone will allow more offensive opportunities than a man-to-man. 2. The two players on the top of the zone are usually a team's guards, and they guard the zones closest to them on the perimeter and three-point arc. We don’t want to give away what we’re doing or give them an easy pass out of it. When the ball is at the top is when we see the basic 2-3 zone defense structure. If there’s is no shot clock, well, it looks like you can’t play zone anymore. If you’re not trapping (which we’ll talk about soon), the two main options you have to decide on is in regard to the ball-side guard. The weak-side forward (4) must now look after the paint. Many coaches have a high desire to use the same or similar offenses versus man-to-man and zone defense. Depending on the amount of traps you use and where they are will play a big factor in the tempo of the game. 4 passes to the open man after reading x3. The 3-2 zone defense implements perimeter ball pressure and heavy low post defense to limit scoring opportunities for the offensive team. You can get the guard to completely deny the pass back outside and force the corner player to make a decision and be aggressive. Protects the Paint – The 2-3 zone is a great defense to keep the ball as far away from the hoop as possible. O2 sets up on the left wing, v-cuts and gets the pass from O1. No layupsThis point may seem like the odd one out but it must be included. Playing from behind—teams that are losing rarely use the 2–3 zone, because it gives the opposing offense ample time—and space—to repeatedly pass the ball around the perimeter, reducing the amount of time left in the game. And now it’s up to the weak-side forward (3) to keep his eyes on the two other players and anticipate the high pass that will be made. The center (5) is behind to half-fronting the post player. It’s the same situation if there is a skip pass from wing to wing. Most coaches will only have a couple of practices to prepare themselves for your 2-3 zone defense. You see, the problem with a 2-3 zone is that the two guards at the top are responsible for guarding three positions around the perimeter; the top of the key, and the two wings. The weak-side guard (1) sprints all the way across the court to deny the easy pass back to the guard. The top two guards (1 and 2) must sprint at the ball-handler with high hands to prevent easy passes over the top and then trap him aggressively. Usually out of a time-out or in a late game situation when you desperately need a steal. A 2-3 Zone Defense is usually employed against a team that struggles to shoot from the outside but has some effective post players. You’ll find most teams rush and will often take contested shots, or they’ll turn the ball over trying to make fancy passes against the zone. When the ball makes it into the high post we’re now in a very vulnerable position. The following is a listing of all posts in the category of Plays to use against a 2-3 zone defense on our site. You can also use this trap against weak or unconfident ball-handlers. However, like all zone defenses it does have weaknesses. 3, 5, and 4 crash their respective sides of the hoops while 2 gets a body on the offensive 5 player. Having an athletic O3 who can jump and finish inside is key. The center (5) is left guarding two players. This is accomplished by the center basically never leaving … Corner structure with the 2 guard sagging in. Do not allow layups against your zone. As the ball moves throughout the court, every player should shift simultaneously in the direction of the ball. Rebounding must be a constant emphasis when coaching a 2-3 zone defense. The 2–3 zone is sometimes called a 2–1–2 zone, simply because the player (usually the center) standing under the basket moves further up on the key. Jim Boeheim, 76, has been its head coach since 1976, stubbornly – and effectively – using the 2-3 zone defense … Although it is a zone defense, players should always be aware of the offensive players' locations on the floor. Here we’re going to discuss the different types of traps you can use in a 2-3 zone and I’ll also include how often I think you should use each one. It is referred to as the 2–3 because of its formation on the court, which consists of two players at the front of the defense (closer to half court) and three players behind (closer to the team's basket). The ball-side guard is sagging into the lane to prevent a pass inside and to discourage the drive. Any team can use the 2-3 zone defense, you just have to adjust how you run the zone to best suit your personnel which we’ll talk about later on in the article. Use Ball-Screens | 8 Ways to beat a Zone Defense. One great advantage of this zone is that you can protect your big from stepping outside as the wings can take any flashes to the high post. Its strengths can easily become its weaknesses, which include: Coach Don Casey & Ralph Pim, Own the Zone – Executing & attacking the zone defense, New York: McGraw Hill, 2008, p. 18, Coach Don Casey & Ralph Pim, Own the Zone – Executing & attacking the zone defense by Charlie Halford New York: McGraw Hill, 2008, p. 19, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics,,–3_zone_defense&oldid=977516037, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Jim Boeheim at Syracuse has won nearly 1,000 games and made a career primarily out of teaching and running the 2-3 zone defense. Decide how many players will crash the boards. Discourage 3-point attempts with your zone defense to limit your opponent's scoring ceiling Simplify the roles and responsibilities associated with traditional 2-3 zone defenses to reduce poor rotations Make use of positional breakdown drills to reinforce zone concepts and … The Orange has famously utilized a match-up 2-3 zone under Boeheim, which combines elements of man-to-man and zone that keeps the opponent guessing about which defense … Carolina Zone Set No. In 2003, Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim led his team to an NCAA Tournament championship playing the 2–3 zone, which has become Boeheim's trademark. Because a zone defense is more complex than simply following one player always following his counterpart around the court, there is a higher probability that at least one defensive player will forget which opposing player he/she was assigned to guard. The weak-side guard (1) should be near the closest elbow if there’s no player in the high post, or denying the pass to the player in the post from the high side. The 2–3 Zone Defense is a defensive strategy used in basketball as an alternative to man-to-man defense.It is referred to as the 2–3 because of its formation on the court, which consists of two players at the front of the defense (and closer to half court) and three players behind (and … The second guard takes the first pass using bump help from the forwards and then the point guard falls back into their position. The 2-3 zone defense is the most commonly used zone defense, designed to stop the inside game. He breaks down a detailed description of each player's role in 2-3 while shows the weak links of the defense and teaches how to avoid them. Should you immediately trap a certain player every time they touch the ball? 3. Don’t be afraid to get right up on players and force them to drive or make a lobbed pass that may be picked off. As referred to earlier in the article, bumping effectively is absolutely crucial to running a great 2-3 zone defense. If the point guard at the top of the key is a good shooter and within shooting distance, we must respect the shot by one of the guards playing them. The image shows the main areas each position is responsible for but keep in mind that they definitely do overlap at times depending on where the ball is on the court. Although, if you have a smaller team, you might require everyone to crash the boards. The corner trap in a 2-3 zone defense is by far the most effective trap you can use in a 2-3 zone. See Al Marshall's Aggressive 2-3 Zone Defense and 2-3 Zone Defense. This type of zone defense is usually best suited against teams with average or below average perimeter shooters. "Hiding" poor defensive players—because the 2–3 zone is so team-oriented, players who are less effective defensively are less likely to be exploited by the offense. Structure when there is a player in the corner. 2-3 Rotation on Pass to the Wing. Be aware that you may get burned when running this trap. Everyone must move on the flight of the ballEveryone must move on the flight of the ball and not on the catch. The same rules apply on the wings, on any pass to the wing player the forward must help out and then be bumped back by the guard. This is a well-designed play to spread the defense and get Henson open in a favorable position in the paint. No, you still shouldn’t do it. 1. Make no mistake, a 2-3 zone defense doesn’t allow your team to rest on defense. Fewer offensive plays—There are far fewer zone offenses than there are man-to-man offenses to prepare for as a defense. … 1. The 2-3 zone defense is by far the most common zone in basketball and is more than likely the specific formation that will come to a coaches mind when they hear the term ‘zone’ relating to basketball. His father was the late basketball coach Jeff Capel II, former assistant coach for the Charlotte Bobcats and former head coach at Old Dominion University, and his younger brother Jason played basketball at Duke's biggest rival, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was the head basketball coach at Appalachian State University. As a result, 2–3 zones often yield more rebounds for the opposing offense, which can tire out a defense, and/or put them far behind in scoring. 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