Lets Talk About Defense

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  • I have known Herb Brown for many years, and hiscoaching philosophies and principles are second tonone. Lets Talk Defense! will show you the way toestablishing a superior defense, and it is a tool of thetrade that both aspiring and veteran coaches should notbe without.

    John Calipari, Head Coach,

    University of Memphis

    Herb Brown understands the most fundamental aspectof the game and that is great defense wins champi-onships. This book will explain the basic concepts ofhow it is done.

    Joe Dumars, General Manager

    of the Detroit Pistons and

    Six-Time NBA All-Star

    Defense has been a focal point for me throughout mycareer. Working closely with Herb Brown this year gaveme an opportunity to work with a leading authority onthe subject. Lets Talk Defense! captures the essence ofhis deep-rooted understanding of the way defenseshould be played, and I highly recommend it to coachesand players of all ages.

    Lindsey Hunter,

    Ten-Year NBA Veteran

    Lets Talk Defense! is a comprehensive compilation ofdefensive schemes, concepts, and philosophies. It is theproduct of the Brown brothers years of experience andleaves no defensive stone unturned. Lets Talk Defense!is a must read for both players and coaches at all levelsof the game.

    Isiah Thomas,

    NBA Hall of Fame Player,

    Former NBA Head Coach,

    and Current President of

    the New York Knicks

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  • DEFENSE!LETS TALK

    TIPS, SKILLS, AND DRILLS FOR BETTER DEFENSIVE BASKETBALL

    HERB BROWN

  • Copyright 2005 by Herb Brown. All rights reserved. Manufactured in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. 0-07-146052-7 The material in this eBook also appears in the print version of this title: 0-07-144169-7. All trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners. Rather than put a trademark symbol after every occurrence of a trademarked name, we use names in an editorial fashion only, and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringement of the trademark. Where such designations appear in this book, they have been printed with initial caps. McGraw-Hill eBooks are available at special quantity discounts to use as premiums and sales promotions, or for use in corporate training programs. For more information, please contact George Hoare, Special Sales, at george_hoare@mcgraw-hill.com or (212) 904-4069. TERMS OF USE This is a copyrighted work and The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (McGraw-Hill) and its licensors reserve all rights in and to the work. Use of this work is subject to these terms. Except as permitted under the Copyright Act of 1976 and the right to store and retrieve one copy of the work, you may not decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer, reproduce, modify, create derivative works based upon, transmit, distribute, disseminate, sell, publish or sublicense the work or any part of it without McGraw-Hills prior consent. You may use the work for your own noncommercial and personal use; any other use of the work is strictly prohibited. Your right to use the work may be terminated if you fail to comply with these terms. THE WORK IS PROVIDED AS IS. McGRAW-HILL AND ITS LICENSORS MAKE NO GUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE ACCURACY, ADEQUACY OR COMPLETENESS OF OR RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED FROM USING THE WORK, INCLUDING ANY INFORMATION THAT CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE WORK VIA HYPERLINK OR OTHERWISE, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. McGraw-Hill and its licensors do not warrant or guarantee that the functions contained in the work will meet your requirements or that its operation will be uninterrupted or error free. Neither McGraw-Hill nor its licensors shall be liable to you or anyone else for any inaccuracy, error or omission, regardless of cause, in the work or for any damages resulting there from. McGraw-Hill has no responsibility for the content of any information accessed through the work. Under no circumstances shall McGraw-Hill and/or its licensors be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, punitive, consequential or similar damages that result from the use of or inability to use the work, even if any of them has been advised of the possibility of such damages. This limitation of liability shall apply to any claim or cause whatsoever whether such claim or cause arises in contract, tort or otherwise. DOI: 10.1036/0071460527

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  • vC o n t e n t s

    Foreword by Larry Brown, Head Coach, Detroit Pistons vii

    Preface ix

    Player Movement Legend x

    Acknowledgments xi

    11 Defensive Coaching Philosophy 1

    12 Defensive Keys to Victory 17

    13 Coaches Overview: Communication Between Players, Assistant Coaches, and Staff 29

    14 Defensive Checklist:Things to Teach and Stress Every Day 41

    15 Coaching Methods: Conducting Practices 51

    16 Defensive Principles and Rebounding 77

    17 Individual Defense,Team Defense, and Drills 87

    18 Defending the Pick and Roll 111

    19 Defending Specific Plays 129

    10 Trapping and Double-Teaming 151

    11 Transition Defense and Drills 167

    12 Zone, Press, and Combination Defenses 175

    13 Defending Special Situations 193

    14 Scouting 203

    For more information about this title, click here

  • vi C O N T E N T S

    15 Miscellaneous Drills 207

    16 Summary 215

    Appendix: Getting It Started: The Warm-Up by Arnie Kander, Strength and Conditioning Coach/Physical Therapist, Detroit Pistons 217

    Glossary of Basketball Terms 233

    Index 255

  • vii

    Fo rewo rd

    H erb Brown has been almost everywhere basket-ball is played. His coaching experiences havetaken him all over the world over the past 40-something years. I know Herb has learned and tried totake something positive and useful from every stop onhis coaching tour. The material for this book has beencompiled from many different sources. I dont think youwill find many coaches more committed than HerbBrown. He has always been a tireless worker with anunparalleled appetite for basketball knowledge. The manhas dedicated a great deal of his life to the game of bas-ketball and Lets Talk Defense! is just one of the fruits ofhis labor.

    Herb and I have always believed defense to be thegreat equalizer. Even if your team seems short on per-sonnel when compared to that of your opponents, a soliddefense can effectively bridge the talent gap. Basketballis a basic game; if you score more points than your oppo-nent, you win the game; and if you stop the other teamfrom scoring points and play the right way, you can wingames even when your team struggles offensively.

    I think this book will provide players and coaches atall levels with a comprehensive and easy-to-understandblueprint of how to build a successful defense. We usedmany of these principles and techniques with the DetroitPistons in the 20032004 NBA championship season.Success, defensive or otherwise, can only be achievedthrough hard work and dedication. Teams must bethoughtfully trained, drilled, and coached. Part of thisequation for defensive success can be found in the pagesthat follow. The other parts of the equation will have tocome from you.

    Copyright 2005 by Herb Brown. Click here for terms of use.

  • viii F O R E W O R D

    I am proud of Herbs professional and personalachievements. This book is the product of his intellect,diligence, and vast experience in teaching and coachingthe game of basketball. Its a tool no coach should bewithout.

    Larry Brown, Head Coach, Detroit Pistons

  • ix

    P re f a c e

    D efense is a state of mind. It is, in the opinion ofthis author and many other coaches, the greatequalizer. Our philosophy has been developedover a period of time and it is being constantly refined tothis day. This philosophy is not the only way to coachand teach defense, but it may give you ideas you willwant to incorporate or think about adding to your owndefensive philosophy. We all seek information that canhelp to broaden our horizons, and I hope some of thesemethods and ideas will help or encourage you to innovateand try different things.

    Some of the material in this book may seem repeti-tive, but the repetition has been by design. Defensivemastery requires constant teaching, practice, and repeti-tion. These elements cannot be overlooked if you wantyour team to be successful. There is also some overlapwith certain tenets and principles appearing in sev-eral sections of the book. This is necessary to give thereader a complete view, in context, of each topic withoutconfusing references to other sections of the book.Throughout there are pictures and more than 200 dia-grams intended to help you visualize the movements andplayers involved in the various drills discussed. You willwant to refer to the Player Movement Legend that fol-lows as you study the diagrams.

    It is my hope that this book whets your appetite andprovides food for thought as you consider the impor-tance of defensive basketball.

    Copyright 2005 by Herb Brown. Click here for terms of use.

  • xP l aye r M o ve m e n t L e g e n d

    DEFENSIVE PLAYER'SMOVEMENT

    PASS

    OFFENSIVE PLAYER'S CUT

    SCREEN PICK

    2ND CUT

    2ND PASS

    DRIBBLE

    3RD PASS

    DEFENSE1 2 3 4 5

    OFFENSE