The call for defense is a reminder
It’s ironic that in a two-way sport like basketball, coaches still have to remind players to buckle up on defense. Nowadays, it seems common for coaches to pound on the defensive angles in the postgame press conference in a clear effort to constantly remind their players that they won’t go very far with weak or lazy defensive stands.
And yet, anyone who has played basketball knows that defense is the hard work and boring part. On offense, you have the ball and there’s a natural individual and team adrenaline that drives you to come up with the best scoring opportunities.
On the half court set, you run a play or look out right away for your attack points. Screens seem to be set naturally for the scorers. The scorers generally know how to move without the ball and will use the screens to wiggle open for cuts or long attempts at the basket.
On a fast break, there’s a rush of energy as the offensive team pounds on the frustrations of their opponents who had either lost the ball on a turnover or were forced into a bad shot. The lanes are filled up quickly with players leaking out or ahead on the break hollering for the outlet pass.
The energy seems to be different for defense. Players are constantly reminded of the following: tao mo (your defensive assignment), baba (get down court to play defense) or box out for the rebound with the coaches dishing out the corresponding gestures using the elbows.
The offensive reminders are less vocal because every player seems to know what to do when they have the ball.
It must be human nature that allows players to already know what to do when in possession compared to remembering what has to be done on defense. But make no mistake about it and you don’t need the stats to know that defense is being played, especially at the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) level.
Talk to any great offensive player and they’ll tell you it isn’t that easy to score against great defense, no matter how many moves you have. There’s bound to be a switch, a double team or a bigger defender trying to create a mismatch so that it’s harder to score.
The clamor for defense is a natural demand by the coaches. It’s almost like a parent or teacher reminding a son or daughter or a student. They know that if their teams don’t hold the defensive wall, they’re bound to pay for it dearly.
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