The game of basketball allows a variety of defenses to be deployed in an effort to disrupt and combat offensive plays.
Here are examples of the three basic categories of team defenses. In addition, each category is comprised of an assortment of different variations.
Person-to-Person defenses match up the defenders against specific offensive players. Defenders are usually assigned to be matched up with offensive players by size and ability.
With Zone defenses, defenders are assigned to guard specific areas on the court. Zones are named or designated by their player alignments.
A third type of defense that can be deployed is the combination or "Nickle" defense. With combination defenses, some of the players are assigned to play person-to-person while the rest of the defenders play zone. Combination defenses are usually deployed in an effort to stop or neutralize great individual offensive players.
Both person-to-person and zone defenses can also be extended into full, three quarters or half court presses.
Defensive Player Skills & Techniques
Things to Consider About Defense
Let's take a closer look at person-to-person defense.