Defense in basketball is considered reaction + anticipation. At BBT we have created something known as "Offensive Defense" which is simply playing defense in a way that forces your player to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. For a very long time defenders have allowed the offense to dictate the game. We knowingly force our opponents their weak side and taking away their strong side. Understand that the goal of defense it not to stop others from scoring. It is simply to make every shot, every dribble, and every pass uncomfortable and difficult. The beautiful thing about defense, for those that do not love it, is that if you play defense hard you will not have to play it long! Your opponent will give it up to a teammate, turn the ball over, or take a hurried, quick shot. Remember, even if your opponent scores on a tough shot, you have still done your job. Know that it will not happen often. The following are some basic guidelines for playing defense:
Bend at your knees, not at your waist (stay low)
This is the most important of all. Weight should be shifted to your toes.
Feet should remain "light" and "reactive".
Step and Slide. Turn then Run.
Step with the foot that your opponent is driving by.
Once the opponent is on your side turn and run them hard into your teammate or beat them to the spot.
Always make as much noise as possible when doing this.
Contest every shot
Most shooters hate for someone to be in their comfort zone. The comfort zone (also known as personal space) is anywhere within 6 inches of the opponents face and chest. DO IT! Aggressively (not lazy or timidly) put you hand and arm fully extended right between the arms and the face of a shooter as he/she is shooting. Your opponent's percentage will drop drastically.
Turn and box out your opponent. Then go get the ball!
Think of the additional points that you can score because of great defense
Defense is the separator in the game of basketball. Meaning, if you are an aggressive successful individual and team defender, you will separate yourself from the competition and stand out as a great defender. Defense is a skill where you use your feet to get into a position to contest or pressure with your hands. Daily I would work on foot quickness and balance drills to get better. Jumping rope is excellent. I would work on defense slides and sprint slides, going 1 on none. Then I would play a lot of 1 vs. 1 against the best player I could find everyday. Play in pickup games in your area against older/better players. Guard them full court, pressure then every time they have the ball, deny them I pass away, hit them on every box out and pressure every rebound. This combination of training should take your defense to the next level.