Teaching defensive development to big men is a slow process. The majority of people think that if a big man rebounds and blocks shot that he is a defensive presence. I judge a post player’s ability to defend not only with his ability to protect the rim with blocks, but also with their ability to rotate off their man and stop penetration to show their presence.
Too many young big men in this game only pay attention to their man, and not to what’s going on beyond that. To develop as a serviceable defender its very important to work on not only being a very good on the ball defender in the post , but also how to rotate off your man and stop penetration while also getting back to your man. There are many moving to an offensive possessions like screens, drives, cuts, etc. To be a great defender you need to be able to read those actions as well as communicate that information to your team on the floor. If you look at some of the better defensive big men in the NBA like Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler, and Kevin Garnett they are constantly moving and talking.
Big men can be lumbering players that don’t move and still be good shot blockers. There are plenty of them across the globe that can do that. The post defenders that I want on my team not only can block/alter shots but also can communicate and move their feet. The best way to drill this is to play a lot of 2 on 2 and 3 on 3 games. Work continuously on rotating not only from ball side to stop penetration but also on rotating from the weak side to have a factor on defense. Like anything you need to work on these skills.
Here is a list of defensive traits all young big men should learn.
- On the ball defense staying low active hands
- Rotate off ballside post to stop wing penetration and get back to your man
- Show on Screen/Roll and sprint back to the lane.
- Defend the big on pin down(step up stop tight curl and stay connected) on big catch on block ability to rotate on skip pass penetration from opposite corner/wing.
- On Screen/Roll have the ability to bump the roll big as early as possible
- On Screen/Roll have the ability to rotate to popping big and contest jumper as well as stop ball on drive from the pop big
With all of these skill sets its very important on all shots that you find a man and box out then attack the rim. Keeping offensive players off of the glass is very important.
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