pack line de*fense
What Is The Definition Of Pack-Line Defense In Basketball?
1. In basketball, the pack-line defense is an alternative to man-to-man defense. All players are inside a hypothetical line 16 feet from the rim, besides the player guarding the ball. The line 16 feet from the rim is called the pack line.
A pack-line defense is a strategy designed to prevent players from entering the area, whereas man-to-man is trying to eliminate a pass one pass away. Dick Bennett created the pack-line defense, and today it is commonly used by coaches at Michigan State, Virginia, and UCLA. Bennett did not coin the term, and it was only brought to his attention when a marketing agency convinced Bennett to showcase his new defensive tactic on a DVD.
The key to pack-line defense is one player is always pressuring the ball while the other four defenders are filling gap positions. The goal is to keep the opposing team out of the paint and to force perimeter play, which requires better offense and outside shooting. For the defending team to properly accomplish this, they must work together or they risk open gaps that may allow easy points.
Using the pack-line defensive method creates six main advantages:
- Dribble Penetration Prevention – It is hard for offensive players to find a gap with the defensive players creating the pack line.
- Lower Opponent Field Goal Percentage – Pack-line requires the defense to be patient and force the offense into attempting challenged jump shots.
- No Easy Scores – With the defense packing the paint, the offense has no easy openings to score.
- Prevents Backdoor Cuts – Because the defense is sagging off, it creates difficulty for the offense to use back-door cuts for easy layups.
- Rebounding Increase – Defensive players sagging off put them in a better position to rebound.
- Help Position – Defense is always in help position without having to move.
The pack-line defensive method also creates three weaknesses:
- Patience Is Key – Players may want to steal to turn over to offense, and the gamble can lead to easy shots.
- Three-Pointers – With players always being in help positions, defense needs to react quickly and close out the ball or three-pointers can happen.
- No Shot Clock – If playing in a league with no shot clock, patience really is key. The offense can pass until they find an open shot.
Example Of How Pack-Line Defense Is Used In Commentary
1. Virginia’s defense is once again the best defense for the last five years. Using Coach Bennett’s pack-line defense method and clear communication, it’s no surprise the offense has a hard time getting shots.
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