Purpose: To teach players either 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 defensive skills in a gamelike situation. The focus is on halfcourt defense and, more specifically, the defensive philosophy you want your players to abide by.
Drill: This drill can be performed either 3-on-3 or 4-on-4. This will depend on your preference and the number of players you have available on your team.
4 offensive players line up outside the three-point line. 4 defensive players line up along the baseline. The additional team or teams of 4 wait at midcourt. A coach stands at the baseline with a basketball.
To start the drill, the coach will pass to one of the offensive players. On the pass, the defenders react and sprint out to guard someone. The offensive team attempts to score while the defensive attempts to stop them from scoring.
Defensive Cutthroat is played to a certain number of points. The only way to score points is to get stops on defense. If you get a stop on defense, you stay on defense. If you score on offense, you go to defense and a new offense comes on the floor. Play continues until a team reaches the given number of points (I usually play to 7). To make this more competitive, give the losing teams a consequence such as sprints, push-ups, burpees, etc.
- If a defender takes a charge, the game is over and that team wins.
- If a defender fouls an offensive player it’s an automatic made basket, regardless if it was during a shot or not. Learn to play defense without fouling.
Coaching Points: Your general defensive philosophies and rules should apply. These are concepts such as closeouts, good stance, communication, switching/not switching, boxing out, etc.