1.2.2 Defending perimeter player without the ball
There are a number of techniques for defending a player that does not have the ball:
- Denial stance
- Open stance
- Hedge & Recover.
Off Ball Defence – Denial Stance
In denial stance, the defender’s back is to the ball and their chest is facing the person they are guarding. One arm is stretched out, with thumb pointing toward the ground and the palm facing the ball, so that they can deflect a pass.
The defender should keep sight of both the person with the ball and the person they are guarding by putting their “chin to shoulder”.
The closer the defender is to the “passing lane” (imaginary line between the person with the ball and the person being defended), the more aggressive the defence is.
The defender may have their body in the “passing lane”, often called full denial, or they may take a step towards the basket and have their hand in the passing lane.
Off Ball Defence – Hedge & Recover
A “hedge” is simply a fake by a defender. The defender “fakes” that they are coming over to guard another player. This is typically done when an opponent is dribbling, although it can also be used to pressure a post defender.
The footwork is the same as for lateral defensive movement – taking one or two steps. Most importantly, the defender should move both feet! Keeping a balanced stance is very important, and lunging (stepping with one foot only) will make it hard to then recover to guard their own player.