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Defensive Strategies

Two-Three Zone

1-2-2 Zone

The 2-3 zone is the most commonly used zone defense. Since its 2-3 alignment allows teams to keep their big players inside, it is very strong in protecting the basket area and against dribble penetration. The 2-3 zone is also effective against poor outside shooting teams. However, on the other hand, the 2-3 zone is very vulnerable to good outside shooting teams.

Because of its packed-in alignment, the 2-3 zone is the most common choice of defense to use when teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to quickness, athleticism and skill. However, with quick and agile players, the 2-3 zone can become a very aggressive, trapping defense. It is also an excellent defense to use to defend against talented or big low post players.

In the 2-3 Zone the point the defensive guards play side by side above the free throw line. The post maintains a position in front of the basket always staying between the ball and the basket. The other two baseline players are positioned just out side the three second area above the "blocks." All defenders must be active keeping the arms and hands extended and shifting while the ball is in the air on all passes.

Basic 2-3 Zone Baseline Shifts

Baseline Corner

Home - Ball in the Middle

Defender X1 is on ball and X2 is at the elbow. Defenders X3, X4, and X5 are above the block with X5 in front of the basket and X3 & X4 are positioned outside the three second area on the baseline.

Left Wing

Ball on Left Wing

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

Home

Ball in Left Corner

X4 on ball, X5 covers low post area, X3 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. X3 steps out towards the corner, X5 maintains a position between ball and basket, and X4 assumes a weakside rebounding position.

Right Corner

Ball in Right Corner

Defender X3 is on ball, X5 covers low post area, 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 X5 steps up jams the ballhandler forcing them toward a corner pushpoint. Outside defenders X1 and X2 collapse on to O5, while baseline defenders X3 & X4 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 2-3 zone shifts.