How to Play Defense in Basketball – See The Most Important!

Let us think from the offensive side..

What makes us ( offensive side ) get passed the defender?

  1. Lousy defense
  2. The defender falls to our fakes

And there’s getting us to the point: If we can make the defender off balance, we can get passed him.

It’s true in some case, you didn’t even need to get them off balance because of the speed difference. And as the defender, you can take caution if you already know that you lose in speed.


So, how to play defense to make sure the attacker didn’t pass us?


Do not Get off Balance!

The best defense is not to lose your balance, see Michael Jordan for example. He tries his best to always in front of the attacker.

How to keep your balance when defense?

  1. Spread your legs wide. Just like a table, if you put all their legs too close to the center of the table, it will easily fall when we push it.
  2. Lower your stance. Make sure that you’re having lower stance than the attacker, and this also makes the attacker more insecure.
  3. Keep your step fast and small. Make a note that great attacker will change direction fast. If we take the large step, we’re already losing them.


Use Your Hand to Make Pressure!

michael jordan defenseDon’t let the attacker dribble the way they want. Stretch 1 of your arm in the front to limit their movement.

This will limit their crossover, their shooting movement ( at last it will make their shooting accuracy drop ).

Also give them fake steal move that ruins their dribble form, but you must also take caution for attacker response.. If they’re good dribbler, they will try to get passed you when you try to steal them. Because of that, always be aware of their moves.


Read Their Moves & Set Direction for Them

Limit their direction to the ring by letting your defense bad on purpose to 1 course, so we already know where they will move. It’s also useful for trapping them.


Do not Shocked by Attackers Move. Think Out of The Box

michale jordan defenseLet say the attacker suddenly dash, and will defeat you..

Never be shocked, keep calm, go to their direction without losing balance. Get ready for player sudden direction change, read their next move.

Usually, you will get all these by experience, but it always good to know first and try to do the right way from the start.


Never think that you already got them by reading 1 or 2 moves ahead. Always keep your composure and try to think all the moves that can beat you in one move.. When you can think like that, it’s up to your response to catch up.

The negative effects of this is… Sometimes you’ll become confuse yourself, and I tell you now.. DON’T BE! After trying to read their moves, give it the rest to your instinct and response. You are already done your job by thinking all possible moves.

Do not slowing down your response by feeling not sure about what will the attackers do.


After reading this, if you’re still not able to defend the attacker.. Then, don’t be disappointed because that’s what we called skill gap.

You can catch up to them by training as hard as you can, learn how to do lockdown defense ( This is used by Michael Jordan ), and no need to feel stupid because getting passed many times. That’s great for your experience.

The more you’re failing on defense, the more you can be great on it too!


I Hope this is helping you achieve a new level of basketball defense. Have a great day!!

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