How Do You Guard Shifty Players?
If you aren’t comfortable squaring up, guard them. Shifty players often use slick ball screens to get an edge on defenders. This article will teach you how to guard players like Toppin and position yourself between them and the basketball. It also includes tips on communicating with less experienced players and staying on your toes. Here are a few pointers to help you guard shifty players.
Obi Toppin slips a ball screen.
Despite having good length, Toppin struggles to defend the post and is often screened by the weakside defender. In one example from the past season, Toppin slipped a screen and allowed a man to drive into the middle of the lane, but the defender was misread and moved over to guard Zoriks. Zoiks averaged 3.7 points per game this season and connected on 56.7% of his three-point attempts despite only trying thirty shots.
The emergence of top-tier talent in recent years has caused some concerns. Toppin’s poor defense has been magnified because he plays in the Atlantic-10, a league that isn’t known for its fortified defenses. His lack of awareness on the defensive results in him losing sight of the ball and becoming preoccupied with where his man is. A vital part of a good defense denies set-up action, and Toppin may be unaware of that.
Positioning yourself between the basketball and your opponent
Shifty players are tricky to guard because they often dribble around defenders, beat them off the dribble, and finish with a simple layup. To prevent them from scoring, it’s vital to position yourself between the basketball and the opponent. This strategy allows you to stay between the ball and your opponent and contain your opponent until he makes a mistake or your teammates arrive.
When guarding shifty players, it’s important to remember that the opponent can shoot the ball over your defensive stance, so it’s essential to be high off the ground and raise your arms in the air. Step into the opponent without fouling him and change the trajectory of his shot. This will allow you to change the trajectory of your opponent’s shot and prevent him from dribbling.
Staying on the balls of your feet
Defending shifty players means focusing on the player’s midsection. Staying low is an excellent defensive strategy, increasing your chances of remaining balanced. Aside from keeping your eyes on your opponent’s midsection, staying low also minimizes the possibility of getting faked. The key is to understand and practice this tactic before the game. If you are hesitant about staying on the balls of your feet, refer to game film and statistics.
When guarding a shifty player, stay low and on the balls of your feet. It gives you outstanding balance and the ability to react quickly to the ball. If you contact the player, fall back and blow some air to ensure you are still in position. As a basketball player, you’ll also have better reaction time. As your experience grows, you’ll learn the proper amount of physicality to use on your opponents.
Keeping your body in a defensive triangle
Keeping your body in a defensive triangle is a key to guarding a shifty player. You must be able to see the ball and the man in front of you to guard the pass. To do this, you should be ready, with your center of gravity low. You should take one step back as you move and mirror the offensive player. As the man moves, you gradually give ground while staying between the man and the goal.
If a player is fast, they can turn away from the defense to shoot. Positioning your body in a defensive triangle allows you to defend a wing or X player. The guards should align themselves with the alignment of the offense. The second guard should be behind the first one. They should both attack the weak side, leaving the strong side open for the post player to shoot.