Home Forums Topics Systems & Strategies #LockLeft #LockLeft



OK, here comes some heresy. I put in the LL this year based on the “old” system (old being a relative term for something so new; I mean the layer order originally posted on Key 5). I installed 1-3 and sat there a while while it took root. When competition started, I put in Post defense, and quickly thereafter, ball screen D (Down and Weak). I’m just now putting in scram, felling that they are deep enough with the habits not to use it as a bail out. Here’s the heresy: I have not taught any Transition D this year.

I had a reason. As a positionless Read & React coach, I never know who’s going to be high when the shot goes up. So our rule is simply FT line above drops back, FT below crashes boards. When in doubt, drop.

It hurt me a bit early, I’ll admit. early games were lost in transition against athletic running teams. I found myself reminding my controllers to pick up the ball early in the backcourt, then just telling everyone that whoever was closest to the ball on RB should pick it up and slow it or lock it, and that we would switch behind.

Then something interesting started to happen. Opposing coaches would start yelling at their teams “they’re pressing!” But we weren’t. I never put in a press. My team was just spontaneously deciding when they wanted to pick up the ball early. Sometimes, 2 or three guys would stay up, one controlling and the others in high deny, or a sniping gap. Sometimes they all would. Sometimes, just the controller. It was completely organic, and completely unpredictable. Their growing understanding of positional team defense started to loosen them up to play opportunistically, freely, with aggression and confidence. I didn’t coach it, per se. I just let it flower. 

We’re averaging 7.5 deflections and 13 steals a game, forcing a 26% TO%. Up from 6.6/8.5/18% last year (when i thought I had a pretty good defense). But it’s the freedom to play that excites me. It’s a system that’s making better players, not just better plays. So I’m not gonna worry about Trans D this year. “Get back and pick up ball early” seems like pretty simple coaching to me.

Maybe I’m an idiot and will eat these words in playoffs Forgive me if I do ;-).