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Hello Lock Left coaches! I’ve enjoyed following the discussion the last few months and thought I would share our experience so far with Lock Left. We’re in year 2 of our Lock Left journey. Year 1 we mainly focused on controlling half and getting into gap and deny positions. We weren’t very good at pressuring the ball and we usually alternated Lock Left with a trapping 1-3-1.  

Year 2 we’ve been all Lock Left! We emphasized closing out and ball pressure, then then added the skirmish/scram read, followed by weaking/downing ball screens. Starting around mid-season we began implementing the matchup zone concepts Tyler presented in the past live learning. We’ve had success with that against teams that run basic continuity and general dribble drive motion. Several teams never figured out if we were playing man or zone. It also really helped our transition defense, now that our guys are sprinting back to spots instead of back to a person. One interesting trend I noticed is teams’ offenses seem to get worn down by the end of each half. You see that in our opponents FG and eFG% over 4 quarters. I think its also interesting how our opponent’s DREB% drops in the second half.  

Opponent eFG% and FG% 2019-2020


We need to continue working on the skirmish/scram read, keeping the ball left, and staying strong at the midline. We’ve also had challenges covering teams that overload the left side with 2 shooters, as well as offenses that space, cut and screen a lot, like a 5-out Read and React team. Both situations have pulled our safety away from the rim to cover perimeter shooters. The in-game adjustment has been going back to straight Lock Left man-to-man. We’re working on covering an overload situation by sliding the Sniper, Controller, and MuH positions over one spot towards the left corner. This puts the sniper on the corner perimeter shooter instead of our safety. This has been a difficult adjustment for the guys to make in the flow of the possession. It requires a high level of communication which our first six players can pull off, but it diminishes as we get deeper into our bench rotations. 

I’m wondering – what experiences have others had been playing lock left as a matchup? Have people seen similar trends in FG% data?