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Defensive Strategies

Two-One-Two Zone

2-1-2 Zone

The 2-1-2 zone is a variation of the 2-3 zone defense. Whereas, the 3-2 zone is flat, protecting the baseline and corners, the 2-1-2 is a very compact zone protecting the middle. With, normally, an athletic defender playing the middle position, it allows the "Bigs" to be aligned on the blocks near the basket providing for strong rebounding. Because of its compact design, the 2-1-2 zone is susceptible to good outside shooting. Therefore, it is mainly used against poor outside shooting teams or to match up against a high post offense such as a 1-3-1 offensive alignment.

The middle person of the 2-1-2 is very active covering the high post when the ball is out in front and fronting the low post when the ball is on the wing or in the corner. Played to extreme, the 2-1-2 zone can be played with defenders having at least one foot in the "Paint" at all times.

Basic 2-1-2 Zone Baseline Shifts

Baseline Corner

Home - Ball in the Middle

Defender X1 is on ball and X2 is at the elbow. Defenders X4 and X5 on the baseline just above the blocks near the basket. X3 is in the middle.

Left Wing

Ball on Left Wing

Defender X2 is on ball, X1 moves to ballside elbow, X4 moves out towards the corner, X3 maintains a position between ball and basket, and X5 establishes a weakside rebounding position.

Home

Ball in Left Corner

X4 on ball, X3 fronts the low post, X5 maintains a strong weakside rebounding position on baseline, X2 cuts off pass out of corner and X1 defends the high post area.

Right Wing

Ball on Right Wing

Defender X1 is on ball, X2 moves across to the elbow protecting the high post area. X5 steps out towards the corner, X3 maintains a position between ball and basket, and X4 assumes a weakside rebounding position.

Right Corner

Ball in Right Corner

Defender X5 is on ball, X3 fronts the low post, X4 maintains a strong weakside rebounding position, X1 cuts off pass out of corner and X2 defends the high post area.

Ball in the Middle

Ball In the Middle

When the ball is passed into the middle, defender X3 steps up jams the ballhandler forcing them toward a corner pushpoint. Outside defenders X1 and X2 collapse on to O5, while baseline defenders X4 & X5 collapse to the blocks protecting the basket area against "High/Low" post pass action.

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Continue and take a closer look at the basic shifts click next.