Automatic Trap Out Of 1-3-1 Zone Defense

David Willis

basketball hoop return

There are few defenses as effective as the three-four one zone. To “speed up” the offensive and confuse them with traps and erratic basketball hoop return defensive posture, it employs an aggressive, disruptive defense style. The defense must remain cool under pressure and make good judgments to overcome it.

Your team may employ these methods to escape from the 1-3-1 trap below. Here we go:

1-3-1 Zone Offense Strategies

1. Use an Even Front Setup

If you’re playing against a 1-3-1 defense, most teams will position themselves in an “even front” formation.

The following are the two most prevalent choices:

  • 2-1-2 Setup: There are four players: two in the slots, one at the high post, and two in the corners.
  • 2-3 Setup: Players in the corners, two in the high post, and two on the wings make up this four-player lineup. Splitting the chaser at the top of the zone is the goal of this. A point guard and either a follower big or a second guard will often be your top two players, but each team member should be aware of the duties associated with their role within the team’s hierarchy.

2. Shift the Defense

As a follow-up to the previous point,

Having two defenders at the top allows you to simply switch sides of the defense. As soon as the chaser moves forward to protect the ball at the start of possession, this is a great way to get the ball away from the chaser.

Players can reverse the ball to a teammate on the other side of the court before they pass the halfway line or when the defense commits.

The defender is compelled to switch to the other side of the court, which eliminates any traps. The receiver will have many crucial seconds if there is a space to attack or create.

3. Best Playmaker in the High Post

Coaches often pick the wrong athlete for the high post position.

While it’s typical for teams to instinctively place the team’s tallest player in the high post since it’s a harder pass and they’re a larger target, we’ve discovered teams have greater success placing their greatest playmaker there.

As for the “best playmaker,” this refers to a player who can score and assist others. You need a person who can swiftly assess the situation and make intelligent judgments in its midst.

4. Disciplined Court Spacing

This post won’t be useful if your players don’t maintain enough space. Those on the periphery should be on the lookout for and take advantage of any available free space.

Having off-ball players who are always looking for openings and gaps is critical in defending against the aggressive 1-3-1 defense.

Using a two-1-2 or 2-3 formation can assist your team in accomplishing this.

5. Attack the Gaps

Players that are properly spaced and regularly moving into free space will have several chances to “attack the gaps” in the zone. Before catching the ball, read the defense. Players who grab the ball and then look at the defense are moving too slowly.

It’s easier to attack before the defense can rotate when a player already knows there’s a drivable gap when they receive the ball.

“Collapse” the defense is the aim. Teammates will be able to get aid if they attack the zone’s gaps.

6. Overload the Zone

“Overloading” is one of the most effective basketball return system and strategies to beat the 1-3-1 zone defense.

As a result, defenders are forced to shift out of their usual 3-1-3-1 formations to cover all of the attacking players on the other side of the court. The opposing wing is preferable for your best shooter.

7. Screen the Chaser

Screening the top defender is another effective approach to get past a 1-3-1 defense (the chaser). Although any offensive player may set a screen for the ball handler, most coaches prefer to have the player on the high post do so.

After a ball reversal, it’s much more advantageous to use this tactic to surprise the defender at the top of the defense.

If everything goes according to plan, the ball handler will have plenty of room to attack the gap, which will allow them to break through the defense and score a goal for themselves or set up a chance for a teammate.

8. Screen the Warrior

“Warrior” is the most challenging position in a 1-3-1 defense.

Two corners of the field are covered by this player. Possession needs constant running from corner to corner, which isn’t simple.

As the warrior sprints down the baseline, an attacking player in the post or short corner might impede his progress by screening him.

Shooters in corners may get an open view merely by slowing down the vehicle for about a half-second, even though you may not bring it to a full stop.

9. Utilize Skip Passes

A 1-3-1 defense may be decimated by timely and accurate skip passes. A defensive team’s job is made more difficult on a skip pass due to how the zone fills up on the ball.

The warrior, who is compelled to protect the ball-side corner of the attacking player, is particularly vulnerable to this. If you play your cards well, you’ll have plenty of chances to close off games late.


The effectiveness of the 1-3-1 defense lies in its ability to be aggressive, disruptive, and confounding simultaneously. On the court, defenders are often positioned in “uncomfortable” positions that make things difficult for offensive players who have never faced them before. The odds are against you, but it’s not unbeatable. Your team will have no problem if you have the best basketball training equipment, patience, excellent space, clever ball movement, and awareness of the best “plans” to deploy against the 1-3-1.

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