2-3 Zone "Blitz"

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Defense Name 2-3 Zone High Immediate Trap
Defense Nickname 23 "Blitz"
Type of defense Zone Defense
Most appropriate age range is High School
Best used against Small or Turnover Prone Ball Handlers

Intro

The 2-3 Zone "Blitz" is a nice variation to throw in after a timeout or after a team has scored against the 2-3 zone to mix in a different look to keep things off balance. In order to do this successfully I would recommend the players have a base knowledge of how to trap. Having a team with some speed on the wings is also helpful, larger or less mobile forwards may have difficulty executing this.

Setup

Here is the normal look when a team drops back defensively into a 2-3 zone.

Normal 23 Seq1.jpg

In the 2-3 "Blitz", the two front perimeter defenders should start above the three point line and be within three strides of being able to trap the ball handler as they come over half court. The wing defenders should be significantly higher than normal, even up to the free throw line extended. It's important that they be within 2-3 strides of stepping into the passing lane between the ball handler and the closest wing players. The paint defender will stay in the paint and protect the basket if things break down.

Execution

Blitz 23 Seq1.jpg

The two perimeter defenders should "blitz" the ball handler as they cross half court. The important things are:

  • Element of surprise - don't show it beforehand!
  • Not allowing the ball handler to split the two defenders down the middle with the dribble
  • On a reverse dribble, continue to follow and trap.

The two wing defenders should release into the passing lane between the ball handler and the closest pass targets on the wings immediately as the perimeter defenders go. The goal is to step in front of a reactionary pass for an easy basket going the other way.

The paint defender should protect the basket from a layup at all costs. This defender should not stray too far from the basket as if they close out too far away it will most likely be an easy pass for a layup. Better to allow a jump shot and take your chances than give up an easy one if at a numbers disadvantage on a breakdown.