Here are 10 ideas for effective play against junk defenses

Just when you least expect it, the junk defense can disrupt even the most prepared coach and his team. This can put your team on its heels and possibly alter the momentum and outcome of the game.

The key is to remain calm and attack with a clear, organized strategy. Practice one or two strategies in practice that are proven to weaken junk defenses. Your players will execute the strategies you have implemented in practice but limit it to a couple of things you do well.

1. First determine the goal of the junk defense. Identify which player or players they are keying on. Is it a triangle and two, box and 1, or combination of the two.

2. Consider making substitutions based on their coverage. A triangle and two will leave open gaps on the perimeter, so put your best shooters and penetrators in the game to attack the gaps.

3. Use your “boxed” offensive player as a screener on the ball and away from the ball. A good screen can provide an inch of separation needed for your best player to get open for shots.

4. If two players are being “boxed”, have one set an on ball screen for the other. If the defense double teams the ball or hedges it will create openings needed to get open shots.

5. Set up a baseline runner alignment where your “boxed” player is free to run off two or three baseline screens. Reverse the ball from one side to the other until he gets open. Cutter must mix up his cuts; back cut, fade, and curl cut.

6. Isolate your player being “boxed.” Stand him in a half court corner for a possession or two, leaving a 4 on 4 game on the offensive end. If two are being “boxed”, put both in half court corners and play 3 on 3.

7. Run a set play for your “boxed” player as a decoy and use secondary action to get the ball to another player in his scoring area.

8. Run a “three game” set by putting your two “boxed” players in the short corners. Your other three players spread the floor and penetrate into the paint to score or dish to open perimeter or short corner player. This is a great way to draw fouls with hard penetration and score from the line.

9. Incorporate hand-offs in your offense. A good player can be denied on the wing but can always receive the ball on a tight hand-off. Once he does gain possession, run your other 4 players flat along the baseline to eliminate help and let him go one on one.

10. Use each possession to the fullest. A junk scheme is good for the first 15 seconds of the possession, but favors the offense if you cut hard and set good screens. The team that is most determined each possession will have the advantage. A good offensive strategy can wear down any junk defense in time.
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Randy Brown

Iowa Player Development Academy


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