The Art of the “POA” How to Stay in Front on Defense (and how NOT to!) Part III

Part 3 of a 3 Part Series

By this point, you’ve read 2 of my 3 part series of blogs discussing how to become a great on ball defender at the POA.

You’ve also learned 3 of our “Gospel” Rules on defense. Let’s review.

Rule #1 – Be Proactive, Not Reactive in a Lead Foot Stance
Rule #2 – Know your Personnel
Rule #3 – Never Jump

 Let’s take a look at more “Reactiveness” in the Rockets / Warriors Series.

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In the clip above, Iguodala has active hands, but for a second, he is 40 feet from the basket (!!!), In a squared stance, reactively WAITING for the BEST SCORER IN THE WORLD to make his move.

In what universe is that a good idea?

Don’t get me wrong, completely shutting down a James Harden or a Steph Curry is darn near impossible. They’re going to get theirs. It’s a reality.

What baffles me is the squared stance reactiveness you see on some of the best players in the world.

If you know that Harden’s in attack mode, why not jab at him? Why not switch your stance every second or two? Why not close space to make him uncomfortable then create space in anticipation of his first dribble? Just waiting for him to attack won’t end well for you.

Rule #4 is Start Wide, Stay Wide by utilizing your push step

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In this clip, Gordon is guarding Kevin Durant. He’s reactive, just waiting for Durant to attack him.

Gordon is in a decent stance and when Durant attacks, he utilizes his push step to try and cut Durant off.

What Gordon does isn’t necessarily wrong, but what happens next is the important part.

Ideally, we teach our players to win the POA in the mid range. It’s hard to cut a player off in or around “their bubble” where Gordon tries to.

Gordon push steps once, and starts to grab Durant (probably a foul, but they play on), Durant goes through Gordon’s attempt at a cut off. Gordon then gets NARROW with his feet, allowing Durant to proceed to the lane. Then, Gordon’s hips get turned to the sideline, which is the easiest way to tell if a player gets beat completely off the dribble.

Gordon doesn’t give up, so it’s not a complete blow by and Durant ends up making a tough shot. Ultimately, this possession comes down to staying wide, utilizing your space properly and being proactive.

Rule #5 is Never Get Beat By the Same Move twice.

 Pretty self explanatory. If player A goes right to left crossover and goes right past you, then there is NO WAY you should let them do that move the next time down the floor.

Play smarter people!

In conclusion, I thank you for reading my blog posts about the POA and I hope that together we can change the epidemic of blow bys and fouling jump shooters that is negatively impacting today’s game at all levels.

Coach Dooley

 

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