This question, "When is Help Side Defense 100% Effective?" was asked recently so I will give a quick answer here.As a former Division I head and assistant coach I'm asked many questions daily about coaching. At CoachRB.com I answer questions and work with coaches 1 on 1 and in groups.
Think about a game recently; an offensive player drives the ball baseline and the coach yells, "Help!"
How can you eliminate this situation?
Effective Help Defense is established BEFORE the play begins. Before the ball is driven baseline, all 4 off ball defenders are ALREADY in their proper help side positions with VISION. Once the ball is driven baseline, your line of defense is already set and you can properly help and eliminate the drive/basket/foul because of trying to "Help" TOO LATE.
Use video tape to show your players what this LOOKS like then go to the practice floor and get it into your game!
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I think that's a bit simplified.
I recently took over a European pro team with a 1-6 record, and since the change we've gone 4-2. More than the record, though, our defensive improvement stands out. I always track defensive efficiency (number of points scored against your team per 100 possessions) as this stat takes game pace out of the equation, and just tracks your defence, unlike points per game.
Before the change the defense had an efficiency rate of 106.2, and now that's improved to 94.7, 2nd in the league, over the last six games.
We haven't put in any amazingly brilliant schemes or the like, we've just stressed three rules:
1) Apply amazing ball pressure; Everything starte here, in EVERY defense!
2) Protect the middle: Help defense is almost impossible when allowing middle penetration, and we want to know where to help; The baseline!
3) Protect the basket: "Drop" to the basket at all times, then recover to shots when needed. We know penetration comes baseline, so we're ready to rotate baseline. When help goes to baseline penetration, we call "drop" and everyone else knows to protect the basket.
With these rules in place it's easy for defenders to stay structured, and they always know what to do.