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The Contact Slide - Defensive Footwork Series 4

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

This next technique is more common in Europe and yields itself to a more physical style of play. But even in the NBA, players have used this technique to stifle opponents. The Contact Slide is the opposite of the Cushion Slide. Instead of seeding ground, it secures ground, even sometimes taking it.

The technique is about sliding lateral to create contact or even sliding into the offensive player’s area to take away space. This is especially effective for defenders with superior quickness and physicality compared to their opponent. Lu Dort is the master of this technique in the NBA.

Vs cushioning Harden

You can see in the above Dort chest up Harden on his counter move vs the first clip where the defender tries to cushion and keep him in front. The contact goes a long way in disrupting an offensive player’s rhythm and attacks. Another example below, you can see Dort use his knee to keep the outside position vs Booker and entangle any foot attacks.

Now, what this isn’t is the buff guy at the park who uses his arms to keep people in front. I think we all know what I’m talking about. The arms in the above clips have nothing to do with the contact slide. Instead the chest and legs are the key teaching points here. Catching the move with the chest and not being afraid to use your knees and legs to keep the edge.

Another great example above. Harden again is the victim of the technique, partially because he is so good at attacking the top foott of defenders. However when going against Dort or in this example, Robert Williams III, they use a contact slide to catch the move with their chest and extend the knee to fight for the edge.

Although we might be prey to how the ref chooses to officiate when it comes to physical defensive techniques, this is definitely one elite defenders can keep in their defensive bags when going against a superior offensive threat you likes to use set up moves and counters to attack.

See you tomorrow.

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