Today I’ll be going over defensive settings, the ones I like to use, and more importantly, what they mean. We’ll begin start with the matchup screen. I’ll make this part quick since it’s pretty cut and dry. This is how you get a certain defender on an opposing player.
Preferably you only want to swap your point guard, shooting guard and small forward with each other and powerforward and center between the 2 so you don’t create a huge mismatch. Don’t worry if you, for example, want Kawai Leonard on Westbrook, Tony Parker won’t end up defending Durant (the PG and SG will just slide down a position).
Now we move on to the meat of the video, the defensive settings. On ball pressure is only necessary if you want the computer to guard a player, guys who can’t shoot you want to leave it on gap so they’re not closing out as aggressively when he catches the ball, and for the knockdown shooters you want tight or smother to force him to drive
Off ball I like to play tight or deny on the JJ Redick Kyle Korner types, because they’re not as much of a threat to cut to the basket. I used to deny pass on every star player I faced, but I quickly learned that wasn’t going fly as they could easily beat you if your opponent made them cut
Force direction is another CPU related setting, and you always want to force every guy you’re not using defending baseline. The idea is you want to limit the options the guy with the ball has and forcing middle lets them attack you in a lot more ways. On ball screen defense, you want to go over the screen on guys who can shoot so you don’t give them any space and under on those more likely to drive. My philosophy is that I like to go under every screen and only change it to over on the few exceptions like Steph, KD and the Klay Thompson types.
When you ice the screen, the on ball defender goes out of his way to block the ball handler from using the screen, so you end up telling him where he can and can’t go, which is straight toward the defender on the guy who is setting the screen.
On ball screen defense with the center you will rarely be faced with because nobody runs pick and rolls with their centers, but I leave it on under just in case.
Hedging is the 2nd part of the pick and roll defense, this is how you want to defend the pick and roll with the defender of the guy who is screening. You hedge to affect how quick the guy can get around the screen for an open look by forcing him to also go around you, in effect giving the on ball defender more time to recover.
It’s then just a matter of how long you want him bothering the guy with the ball. Soft hedge, which I prefer, forces the defender to peak out for a second in an attempt to delay the ball handler before he bails to cover his man and hard hedge stays outside a little longer and forces the ball handler to go around him. Doing so leaves yourself vulnerable to the screen man rolling to the hoop or an open three, but can be negated if your hedge defender is smart and more so athletic enough to run back to his man. No hedge makes the screen man’s defender sink down into the pain in preparation for a drive, so you only do this when you’re really not afraid of an outside shot.
Which leads us to hedge center; most centers aren’t really mobile so you want to have their setting set to no hedge. Hedging in any way with a slow footed center puts them in no man’s land when it’s time to recover. Only guys like Nerlens Noel and Anthony Davis could get away with playing any kind of hedge defense from the center position consistently.
When facing off ball screens, I like to go over because usually off ball screens are set up for an outside shot first and a drive 2nd. Post-defense I just play behind because the others don’t work as they should. For instance, if you front the post man it’s too easy to just lob it over your head and the held defender that’s supposed to rotate to help doesn’t, so I just keep it basic.
Any double teaming I leave on manual. Switch rules if you like to get your Golden State Warriors on. You want to switch all guards on the pick and roll.
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