Help-Side Defense Tips & Tricks with Bob Knight

By becoming proficient at help-side defense, your team will be well on its way towards playing dominant man-to-man defense. In this week’s team concepts feature, follow along with legendary basketball coach Bob Knight as he breaks down help-side defense in a half-court setting.

Help-Side Defense

When it comes to help-side defense, it’s important to remember that there’s a line right up the middle of the floor that separates help-side and ball-side. For help-side defenders, you want to stay one step on your man’s side of the basket. Up top, players should be slightly open to the ball and with hands out in the passing lane and down. Meanwhile, in the post, play your man one step slightly open to the ball and one step on the man side of the bucket with the ball above the foul line extended.

When the ball is moved to from the top to a wing area (let’s say the left wing for this simulation), all players should be focused on the ball. Watch the clip below to see the players move now when the ball goes from ballside to helpside.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Advanced Tactics & Techniques for Man to Man Defense.” To check out more videos featuring Coach Knight, click here

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