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4-On-4 Baseline Drives

This shell drill focuses on proper defensive rotations against a baseline drive.

Set Up

Begin with four offensive players evenly spaced around the perimeter and four defensive players inside of the paint, each matched up with an opponent. Coach starts with the ball near the top of the key. The drill initiates on the coach’s pass.

How It Works

On the coach’s pass, the defenders close out to their match-ups. The defender guarding the ball should apply pressure. Defenders who are one pass away should have one hand in the passing lane and an eye on both the ball and their match-up. Players who are two passes (or a skip pass) away should be on the basket line, evenly splitting the ball and their match-up. As the offensive team works the ball around the perimeter, the defense rotates as necessary.

At some point, one of the corner players will receive the ball and drive baseline. The defender guarding the ball is to let the offensive player gain a step, thus forcing the help defender to rotate over. The help comes from the defender guarding the opposite corner (this player should already be standing under the basket, as they were two passes away). The help defender must step in front of the ball-carrier before he/she reaches the paint. The on-ball defender is to recover and trap the ball with the help defender. As this happens, the remaining two defenders should drop toward the paint and split the remaining three offensive players. The defenders do this by evenly positioning themselves between the two nearest offensive players.

Once trapped, the ball-carrier passes to any of his/her open teammates. Defenders must close out to the ball and rotate as necessary. The nearest defender should take the ball, second nearest takes the next pass, and the player who was “beaten” baseline takes the remaining offensive player. The help defender remains with the offensive player who drove baseline. From here, the teams play live 4-on-4 until the offense scores or the defense gets a stop.

Key coaching points

-Assure your defenders understand the proper rotations before going live. Walk your team through the drill, discuss rotations and different scenarios, then let them practice/experiment in a live situation.

-Coaches may allow the baseline drive to occur at any point, or give the “go” when they feel the time is right.