“To trap or not to trap?”
That’s often the question to stop the inside game of the opponent. The combination of dominant bigs and sharpshooters makes it a tough dilemma to make up your gameplan.
Valencia Basket exploits an interesting concept that finds the best of both worlds. With the inside duo Dublevic-Tobey and versatile wings like Labeyrie, Williams and Kalinic, they rarely need to sacrifice a second defender to stop the inside game of the opponent.
Instead of trapping, their perimeter players “stunt” on the dribble of the opponent in the post. The action resembles a lot like an attacking move in “fencing” 🤺 :
It’s a quick attack at the ball, immediately followed by a retreat to their own man. By using a completely stretched arm and wide stance with their feet, the defense reduces the space between the center and their own match-up.
The fencing attack happens on each dribble, alternatively by the strong side perimeter player and the top defender.
The cue to start this defensive strategy is the dribble of the offensive big. If not, it would result in an immediate pass back and a wide open shot.
For the same reason, the fencing ends the moment the center picks up his dribble. By this fencing strategy, the offensive big loses a lot of his power (to create his inside move and his overview to pass) without leaving any shooters wide open.
In the video breakdown 🎥 below, I highlight all the ins and outs of this technique to control the inside game of the opponent 👇