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The Peel Switch - Avoid the Mismatch Part 4

The Peel switch is an important concept when going against an elite ball handler who is hunting your poor defenders. In part 1 and part 2 of switching week we went over how to try and avoid these switches altogether. But there are times and situations where a switching team will always find themselves in some mismatches. Part 3 covered the post mismatch, today we adjust to the ball handler mismatch.


Let’s say an opponent is trying to attack your switching defense by putting their best ball handler’s in actions to get your worst defenders on them. Think any NBA team. If we are unable to prevent these situations from happening, how do we handle when they do? The peel switch is a great adjustment to this problem.



Once the offense gets the matchup they want, our on-ball defenders can continue to be aggressive to prevent size ups, pull up 3s and pull up midranges. Instead the on-ball defender forces the ball-handler to drive knowing that the defender behind them will take the ball allowing them to peel off onto another man.



This is a great way to have a body waiting for the driver, peel off to take away the 3-pointer or dunker spot and most likely force a pass out of the isolating player’s hand.



The downside to this tactic is the rotation it will cause on your defense. We need to be ready to contain the drive and execute closeouts on the kick out. Also we need to make sure our players don’t get too carried away with this tactic. Peel switching is not an excuse for poor on-ball defender outside of a mismatch situation. If everyone is getting beat, no defense will work.


Typically the switch will occur with the nearest gap defender or you may specify to your team a matchup you want to always peel switch - ie a poor perimeter shooter.



Hopefully this week’s post have helped add some tools to your switching defense toolbox. We are working on a Switching Defense Toolbox clinic that will go live to attend next week and available for purchase after. Sign up for the newsletter to get the latest information and attendance updates.


See you next time.


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