Post by johncarrier42 on Jul 9, 2009 10:02:36 GMT -5
I was conversing with a fellow basketball junkie the other day and we were talking man to man defense. His argument for packline was why did Coach Bennett start out as an on the line up the line guy and the come up with the pack and run that for the rest of his career? There must be something to it was the argument.
I have always been a "on the line, up the line" defensive guy without a question. But I'm always challenging myself and my coaching ideas so are there any coaches on the board that play the packline currently that would be willing to converse with me and let me bounce some ideas off them??
Good question. Coach Bennett's "Pressure Defense" is considered by many one of the best defensive videos ever and he has since switched to "Packline" which is just as popular. The man knows defense.
I think so many college teams play a packline style defense becasue of the shot clock. If you can stop teams in transition (which is a point of emphasis with Coach Bennett) and make them reverse the ball a couple of times they will be forced into a tough shot.
To keep it simple, I'll post my basic questions in here for coaches that run the packline defense. I would like an honest assessment and these are honest questions (not meant to be condescending).
Do you feel that in the packline your teams are aggressive and forcing turnovers?
How do you extend your packline full court and can you be aggressive out of it?
What do you feel are the strengths of the packline?
What are the weaknesses of the packline and how can you compensate for them?
Do you trap at all out of your packline? Could you? Do you think it is easier to trap and rotate out of packline? If so how does it work?
Do you force middle or baseline? I've never wanted to force middle and am wondering if I can force baseline in the packline.
Do you feel you can apply MORE ballpressure in the packline?
Do you feel that the packline helps you compensate for having lesser athletes.
Do you feel that the packline can be an aggressive defense??
I am not a pack coach, but do pack coaches full front the low post. I think if you are going to force baseline, full fronting the low post is something to think about. Not sure what full fronting would do to the rest of the PACK principles though.
1) Do you feel that in the packline your teams are aggressive and forcing turnovers? Our turnovers come from poor passes into the post (either trying to lob it in unsuccessfully or throwing the ball off the posts feet or we have some form of double team or dig in and try to steal the post dribble on a post move) They also come from mental errors as teams get lazy because they are allowed to throw the ball around on the perimeter and also because they get frustrated that they can’t get the ball into the paint where they want it and they often just get sloppy. Also at times because of impatience the guards will try to dribble penetrate through 2 or 3 defenders and dribble off someone’s foot or we’ll come up with a steal that way rather than jumping in passing lanes. We are very aggressive on the ball because we have no fear of getting beat since there are 4 defenders to help us out – we just want to put as much pressure to bother the ball handler as we can. The biggest thing is that we force poor contested shots from the outside.
2)How do you extend your packline full court and can you be aggressive out of it? I think you can use it full court. To me it’s like the equivalent of a “soft” ¾ court zone pressure as you are pressuring the ball and forcing the dribble. I have not used it in the full court – we use a 2-2-1 to complement because we feel it is very similar and we will trap the ball handler on the turn when she cant’ see us coming from the back.
3)What do you feel are the strengths of the packline? We don’t give up the highest percentage shots in the paint. There are not a lot of teams who are going to beat you shooting a high percentage from the outside with hands in their face. We can rebound very well out of it and keep teams from getting 2nd and 3rd shots. We don’t foul very often which often gets us teams in trouble. We will NEVER get beat by a post player – we do anything and everything possible to keep a great post from scoring and make the guards beat us from the outside. Transition defense is very important. We refuse to get beat in the open court by sending 2, sometimes 3 people back to limit the number of easy transition points a team gets.
4)What are the weaknesses of the packline and how can you compensate for them? If you are poor on closing out on shooters you can get in trouble. Since it forces a slower tempo and doesn’t pressure and play for steals it’s not the ideal “comeback defense.” I am a guy who believes in multiple defenses though so we always have some sort of pressure or trapping stunts in place to create the steals when needed. Because the defense APPEARS to be not “aggressive” at first, your players off-the-ball defenders tend to take possessions off early on when introducing the defense. You have to really keep on them and get it into their heads that this defense takes just as much effort and hard work as any pressure defense.
5)Do you trap at all out of your packline? If so how does it work? We will trap similar to the Thumbs Down of Jim Larranaga. We will have the passers defender leave and go double team the ball. We also will trap ball screens and dribble handoffs since we are not afraid of them passing to the man rolling to the basket because we have 3 people in their to stop it. We also trap post players
6)Do you force middle or baseline? I've never wanted to force middle and am wondering if I can force baseline in the packline. This is something I’ve debated over the few years of my high school coaching career. I began saying NO MIDDLE and force everything to the baseline. What I found with the high school girls is that we got in to too much trouble getting beat letting the girl drive baseline and we were giving up layups. I have found the term FORCE to be misleading to the kids. Normally when we say FORCE the kids tend to play too much to the side and end up giving up a straight line drive in either direction to the basket. What we have gone to is “play square up defense between your man and the basket and don’t get BEAT baseline” If we don’t allow a dribbler to beat us to the outside then we don’t have to rotate our players and risk someone missing a rotation and giving up a layup. If we do happen to get beat to the middle it only leads to a kickout to the opposite wing and we’re okay with teams shooting from the outside. Again, it’s all based on making teams beat you with the jump shot rather than the dribble. Basically try to arc the dribble away from the basket if he’s going toward the middle and don’t get beat to the outside. “DON’T LET THE OFFENSE GET PAINT ON THEIR SHOES” was a great quote I heard Kenny Smith once say on an Inside the NBA post game show.
Do you feel you can apply MORE ballpressure in the packline? I think you are able to unleash your players to put as much pressure on the ballhandler as possible because getting beat is not the worst thing in the world because they are driving into 4 defenders who will either alter and force a contested shot or make the ball handler kick out to the perimeter where we do a good job of closing out.
Do you feel that the packline helps you compensate for having lesser athletes. Absolutely. Dick Bennett said it – you can’t ask kids to do 3 things DENY HELP AND RECOVER but if you take away the deny and sit in help than all you have to do is recover and I believe anyone can do that. Lesser athletes also have a harder time getting up and down the floor. This is why we send 2 or 3 back after a shot so they can get a head start on their transition defense and can get set. If they have to get into a foot race the quicker more athletic team will come out on top.
Do you feel that the packline is an aggressive defense?? It is aggressive. We attack post players, we smother drivers, and we beat people up on the rebounds. We take chargers better because we are all in good position to do it. To me, that’s as tough and aggressive as any other defense.
We force middle, but in a square stance, butt to the basket, head on the baseline shoulder, angling the ballhandler towards the top (I say around the arc). We play under FIBA rules, so a 24-second shot clock is a great defensive ally (although the clock is not always used). I use Dick Bennett's approach to post defence - 3/4 from the top, jump behind to take away baseline on a post entry (with a cushion). Full fronting is less common with the trapezoid FIBA lane. Because we are not forcing baseline and not fronting, weakside defenders can widen out, preventing skip passes, and making for faster close-outs on ball reversal, which is not denied (another Bennett point). Off-ball defenders spend the whole game closing out, so do close-outs in practice, get there on the catch - give less help if you are slow or are defending a shooter. Gap (pack line) for me is a bit like rope-a-dope, it's great against teams that just want to get the ball and drive, turn their aggressiveness against them. It's not a come-from-behind defence, especially without a shot clock, you need something else, e.g., full denial. We will scramble out of pack line, I think trapping on the pass is easier because the defender of the pass receiver has the play in front of him, instead of having to recover if a pass is made when denying up the line. When we extend fullcourt, the approach is consistent, it's not up-the-line, we're not inviting overhead passes, if we trap with the defender of the inbounder, the on-ball defender forces middle.
First, let me state the obvious, I am not a PACK coach and believe that the rotation that coachj444 worries about can be effective and productive. I really want to compliment both of you on your posts because I think this is debated on every board and your responses are the most complete and concise that I have read.
I teach the perpendicular stance on the ball and if the technique is taught properly it does not lead to straight line penetration.
Do you really need four in help? I think three in help one in deny works well, adds more to your pressure. In short, are four in help really better than three? The dribbler can only go two ways.
I believe that our basketball philosophies are created by experience, knowledge and personality. I coached ten years of JC DIV III and faced teams with great shooters and/or big post athletes. Two years, the best team had only eight players but all were three point threats plus two from NBA range. Yes you can get beat by outside shooting primarily. Every teams had at least three threats from deep.
As a HS coach, I packed in M2M and zone but I did not create enough "live" ball turnovers needed to win. So we lost games by 40-30 because we did not shoot well. My basic personality is more aggressive than allowing perimeter passes and contesting jump shots. I think more than any X's and O's that maybe the bottom line for this decision. I have friends that PACK and friends that rotate based on personality not X's and O's.
I agree that experience and personality do play a huge part in philosophy. In my experience SO FAR at the jv/varsity/aau girls level and boys middle school level I can tell you in my honest opinion I have never been beaten by a great shooting team.
There are 3 things that have consistently made us come out on the losing end. 1)Fast break transition points coming from turnovers or not getting back to the paint fast enough 2)second and third chance, and sometimes fourth chance!!! points when we dont' block out and rebound 3)allowing teams to either dribble penetrate the lane and get easy layups or dump to a post player who can pound the ball into the basket
Up to this point in time I have had very quick small teams who I toyed with the idea of really working hard to pressure and deny and they were good at it BUT it seemed that for every good live ball turnover we forced, there were an equal or worse number of times when we were out of position and gave up some easy points which drives me crazy. This has lead me to where I am today and we'll see how/if that changes over the course of time. I am only 23 and am a student of the game and am not set in my ways and unwilling to change. But change will not come until my way has been proven ineffective which I'm sure is the case with everyone else here.
I have seen and purchased Swarm material, I have scramble stuff and it all works just great if you're comfortable teaching it. We have all different priorities and those priorities will dictate what we feel is the better defense.
Can't wait to hear from anyone else and their ideas!
As far as off the ball players knowing where to help from... the entire defense is based on everyone being in help therefore they don't need to make a decision because they are already helping. If the defender does his job and doens't get beat baseline then the help is going to come from the guys that are already in the help position in the middle of the floor. No confusion
If we're working hard not to get beat baseline we can still play relatively square to the ball handler but we will position the body just slightly to the outside to keep from allowing the drive that way.
Point well taken on the help ... What good is ball pressure if I always have two open passes? Are you guys that scared of an occasional "touch of paint on the shoes"? I see Bennet teams give up paint touches just as often as teams like Duke.
Thirty years of coaching has taught me that if you play square to the ball and the ball man understands triple threat, he can beat you any way he wants even if he is not as athletic by using the jab step and attack because he physically steps by and if he bumps you 90% of the time officials call a foul. If he dribbles on the catch, you can keep him from going one way or the other but only if you are more athletic. I have had skilled less athletic ball handlers do it to DIV I athletes.
I taught 8th grade girls to get by HS Boys from a District Championship/State Final Four Team in a week. The boys blocked shots but the girls got to the basket if I made the boys play close in a box stance. That sold me!!
No offense meant but my philosophy early in my career like Bennett changed based on experience. We both believe that you cannot ask players to both help and recover. We just solve it different ways. Mine is with rotation. I am not bashing PACK just giving coaches another option.
I am passing along experience so young coaches do not need to learn by trial and error plus to alert coaches that their is another option. Both have their merits and one is not inherently better than the other except as it fits into a coaches philosophy/personality.
Last Edit: Jul 10, 2009 14:44:42 GMT -5 by drdefense
How many players have Dick & Tony Bennett had drafted in the 1st round of the NBA while at Washington St...none. How many 1st round NBA picks did they coach against while at Washington St. ... UCLA has had at least 7, USC 4 or 5, Arizona 4, Stanford 2...Yet they lead the Pac 10 in Defensive Efficiency (points per 100 possessions) almost every year (kenpom.com). You can't argue they slow it down, Def Eff. adjusts for tempo. You will find similar results for other Packline teams and how they fair vs their conference opponents. If good college guys can stop lottery picks it must work. The Pack is excellent for teams that use the shot clock, it is very difficult to get wide open looks, lay-ups, or second shots. It is about out-executing your opponent 30 seconds at a time. By the way zone, pressure man, run and jump, scramble, etc... work as well. They are just different. My advice is to not let your personality interfere with your personnel - they are what really make your system work. And when the 2 match you have a really good team.
I love the pack-line defense, but we have no shot clock here in texas so I wonder if the pack or sagging m2m would work. Would the defense break down first or the offense and wouldn't a pressure man defense be better against teams that want to run the flex or shuffle offense. Not many in the college game are playing a pressure m2m defense these days. How many teams play the pack-line defense and force baseline?
No offense FYI , are you a fisherman? All my coaching buddies that do not mind ball reversals, do not want the ball in the paint ever, do not mind giving up contested jump shots and really want the ball off the baseline and in the middle play PACK-line defense and fish. All my coaching buddies and contacts that want to pressure with less athletic players, need to force "live ball" turnovers and get easy shots, need to dictate tempo even if that means an occasional shot in the paint or offensive rebound ...play rotational defenses and do not fish. No offense meant but I am not sitting for hours throwing a baited hook in the water hoping to catch fish when I can buy it at the super market and spend those hours doing other things. I cannot simply let you control tempo and run what you practice.
I believe that it is a matter of coaching personality more than X's and O's.
Last Edit: Jul 13, 2009 17:58:28 GMT -5 by drdefense