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Avoid the Mismatch : Switching Part 2

As any switching coach knows, we need to be prepared when teams start hunting specific matchups. Yesterday we broken an adjustment to help keep a big out of initial actions and keep them at the basket opposite the ball by running to a matchup spot instead of a man (Avoid the Mismatch Part 1). Today we will look at another way to avoid the mismatch with the Fly Switch or the Switch Out.

This is a tactic to specifically counter the end of clock or end of quarter/half offense of the high ball screen. In those closing seconds we don’t want the offense to dictate the that final matchup; forcing us into a switch with our worst defender. Instead, we want to send one of our best defenders into that action. That’s where the Fly Switch comes in.

As the offense prepares to send the screener to the ball, the better perimeter defender flies onto the screener, pre switching the action and allowing your worst defender to stay home on a shooter or perhaps your big to stay low at the basket.

This is a great adjustment to offenses who see your switching as a means to hunt matchups for their picking. Now the defense can adjust on the fly and prevent those matchup nightmares from happening.

Not much more needs to be said about this technique except for the obvious communication and IQ the defensive team needs to execute this. But you’d be surprised at how quickly most high school players and up can pick up this concept with film review and some practice time.

Of course there is a downside to any defensive tactic. In this case the risks are two fold. 1) if you are pre switching a great rebounder onto the screener (like Draymond Green for the Warriors) your defenders need to be ready to box out and rebound. 2) if you are switching out so that a big is now on a shooter, they must know their responsibility and not over help.

And lastly, you can get clever teams like the Spurs who will bait the Fly Switch and immediate throw it to the corner to attack their ideal matchup.

But luckily not too many of use are going against Popovich.

See you next time.

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