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4 Effective Ways to Defend Baseline Out-of-Bounds Plays (BLOBS)

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While there are literally dozens of defensive schemes and adjustments that a coach can choose to implement in the half court there is virtually no school of thought on how to defend a baseline out-of-bounds play (BLOB).

This is partly due to the fact that in a given game if an offensive team can score 4-6 points from their BLOB plays then they have usually done an amazing job! Because of the lack of points being scored, very rarely do coaches put defending out-of-bounds plays on the top of their priority list.

That might have worked in the past but not anymore. Coaches are realizing that 4-6 extra points a game can often be the difference between winning and losing and so are looking for ways to win these "games within the game."

Here are 4 different ways to defend BLOBs.

1. Straight Man-to-man

Without question the most popular way to defend out-of-bounds plays, whether the ball is being taken out on the baseline or from the sideline, is by using your basic man-to-man principles. Because there are so many different man-to-man principles that could come into effect here, I am only going to address one major area of concern.

Many coaches absolutely hate to help out and switch screens in a half court setting due to the fact that mismatches could form and last for the rest of that possession. The only problem with straight man-to-man principles from a BLOB situation is that your defense is definitely going to get hit with some type of screens. If you do not help off or switch, at least one offensive player is going to get an open shot.

2. 2-3 Zone

Perhaps the next most common defensive tactic used by coaches when defending BLOBS is that of a 2-3 zone defense. Coaches who use this tactic often see it as an opportunity to show their opponent something different than what most other teams use and as a result forces them to eat up valuable practice time putting in new out-of-bounds plays.

While this tactic is a good one because it also helps prevent giving up easy layups, the question that needs to be asked is "Are you going to stay in a zone for the rest of the possession?" If you are not, then switching from zone back to man might cause some confusion, mismatches, or giving up easy baskets unless thoroughly drilled and practiced.

3. Switch Same Size Screens

If you are playing man-to-man defense a great twist to add into your scheme is that of switching same size screens. One of the biggest benefits of switching like this is that it allows you to keep your traditional post players inside defending the paint and your guards defending out on the perimeter. However, when switching screens you are going to be vulnerable to possible communication breakdowns which could result in slips and/or pins by the offense.

4. Double Team the Passer

Once the official hands the passer the ball, he must stay completely still which can present the perfect opportunity for the defense to set a "trap." Set up in a 2-3 zone and as soon as the official hands the ball to the passer, have the center and the strong side corner aggressively double team the passer.

The strong side guard is responsible for the pass to the strong corner while the bottom defender on the weak side keeps any pass from going to the weak side block. The weak side guard first helps jam up the middle and then looks for any passes lobbed out to the top. Even if this isn't a defense you choose to use all the time, it can still be very effective when used in the right situations.

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