I like to drive to the basket from the wing into the paint. I usually don't have trouble getting past the person guarding me. However, I am troubled by the help defense.

Usually, a wing defender at top of the key will swipe at the ball, and this will disrupt my rhythm.

Then, a big will rotate up, so I become forced to take a tough shot trapped in this triangle of players, who are all trying to whack at the ball.

I end up getting frustrated at my teammates who aren't giving me spacing to drive, and don't cut to the basket when the big rotates up.

But this is pick-up basketball, so what can I aim to do to resolve this situation?

1 Answer 1


So, the situation:

  • You're doing a thing (driving to the basket)
  • The defense is making the "level 1" response (sending help)
  • Your teammates aren't making the "level 2" response (backdoor cuts)

The question you need to answer here is "why aren't your teammates making that level 2 response?" Some possible answers to that include:

  • They're not aware it would be a good thing to do. Here you can help them out: "hey buddy, when their big guy comes over to block my drive, could you give me a little cut and I'll feed you for an easy bucket?"
    • Remember this is going to be a quid pro quo. Find out what your teammates' favourite plays are and help them make those plays.
  • Your teammates think your tactical assessment is wrong, and there's a better thing to do than cutting. Again, you'll need to talk to them, listen to their responses and maybe adapt your playing style.
  • They're selfish teammates and don't want to work with other people. Only real solution here is to find different people to play with.
  • Yeah, I'm thinking, talk to teammates about spacing and cutting, work on a midrange floater in case nothing materializes...
    – CraigDavid
    Sep 23, 2022 at 1:43

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