Purpose: To teach the basic help and recover responsibilities utilized within your man-to-man defensive system. Develops help-and-recover techniques and helps teammates learn to work together.
Drill: This diagram demonstrates the help and recover from the guard position, as they are further away from the basket.
The player not guarding the basketball should be in a position off his defender and toward the basketball. He is in this position to discourage penetration by the dribbler.
In this drill, the on-ball defender will get beat so that help is required. It is up to the off-ball defender to make sure that the offensive player does not split the 2 defenders and drive to the basket. The help defender must slow the dribbler down so his teammate can recover to proper defensive positioning. He must also be able to recover quickly to his man if the guard to guard pass is thrown.
If the guard to guard pass is thrown, the initial on-ball defender must now react and quickly move to a helping position.
This drill can also be run from the wing area, as shown in this diagram. This is also a good spot to teach the help-and-recover fundamentals to your post players. If your post players will not be guarding out high as in the last diagram, they should perform this variation of the drill. Guards can work on both.
In this situation, the help defender might have to be in a better position to deny the pass but he must be able to help if a teammate is beaten off the dribble.
If x1 is beat, x2 must open quickly to the ball to stop penetration. When the basketball is picked up or the on-ball defender recovers, x2 can then recover to his man. x2 should also be prepared to draw the charge if O1 is out of control. In this attempt, however, he still must be able to recover to his man.
One aspect of helping and recovering that can be taught and utilized is the idea of defensive fakes. The off-ball defender should fake at the ballhandler while still maintaining his good defensive position. To fake, the off-ball defender should prominently show himself to the dribbler by using hands and arms to distract and discourage. He may also use small jab steps as if he is going to come trap. Of course, he should never lose his position to guard his own man or lose his help position.
It is also imperative that both defensive players communicate with one another effectively. If you are beaten off the dribble, call for help. As the off-ball defender, let your teammate know you are on his right or left side.