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In a number of games, a situation arises where the
opposing has one or two players who are dominant and you cannot afford
to be beaten by these players. At this time, the use of a junk
defense would probably be appropriate. A junk defense is a
combination of a certain number of players playing man-to-man defense on
the other team's best offensive players while the remaining players play
a particular zone defense.
Advantage of Junk Defenses
The biggest advantage of any junk defense is that it limits the offensive
potency of outstanding offensive players. Many times, a team will have the
unenviable task of having to guard an outstanding player that this will make the
most sense. It makes even more sense when a team that you are playing has
one or two great offensive players and the remaining offensive players are
mediocre at best.
Disadvantage of Junk Defenses
There is an old expression that goes along the lines of "the operation was a
success but the patient died". In basketball, that means that you were
successful in limiting the scoring ability of a great offensive player, but you
lost the game. Understand that you put your team at risk to lose by
employing a junk defense if the remaining players on the opposing team get out
of hand and have big games scoring. Enough of these players will get you
and your team beat.
Setting Up the Defense
When setting up the defense, you will need to realize
that a certain number of players will be playing man-to-man defense.
To make this defense work, you must select the best defenders who can
cover the other team's best offensive players. They will be the
ones playing man-to-man defense and they will have to cover those
players. If those offensive players do not have the ball, their
defenders must always play to deny them the basketball so as to reduce,
if not eliminate, their offensive touches.
You will also need to determine who are your best interior defenders and who you
have to have to rebound. This will enable you to have a decided advantage
when the other team (hopefully those who are not the skilled offensive players
you are guarding man-to-man) misses a shot. This will also help in
determining what kind of zone you intend to play in the junk defense as well.
Diamond and One
The first defense is the Diamond and One. The
Diamond and One is designed for a team that likes to play an odd-guard
front offense and has one player on the offense who is an outstanding
scorer. To set up the zone, your players need to align themselves
in a diamond formation with the point of the zone at the nail, two
players on the lane line halfway between the free throw line and the
backboard, and a player just in front of the front of the rim (Diagram
To run the zone, your players must know how to cover the
lane area. If the ball is passed below the wing, the top man in
the zone must cover the ball-side elbow and the player starting on the
ball-side lane line must front the low post (Diagram 2). If the
ball is passed from guard-to-guard, the top of the zone must cover the
ball-side elbow and prevent the penetrating pass (Diagram 3). From
here, a pass below the wing can be made which makes the player on the
ball-side lane line front the low post (Diagram 4).
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