Zone Defenses

Zone defenses are named for the various player alignments.
These defenses vary in strengths and weaknesses.

2-3 Zone

The two-three zone player alignment consists of two players positioned just above the free throw line and three players stationed along the baseline.

Strength: Baseline & Rebounding
Weakness: Wings & top of the circle

2-1-2 Zone

The Two-One-Two zone has a similar player alignment as the two-three zone, except that the middle baseline  player assumes a high position just below the free throw line.

Strength: Middle & Three second area
Weakness: Wings, corners & top of the circle

1-2-2 Zone

The One-Two-Two or "Jug" zone player alignment consists of one player at the top of the circle, two players on the wings, and two players on the baseline.

Strength: Outside
Weakness: Middle & corners

3-2 Zone

The Three-Two Zone is similar to the One-Two-Two zone except that the point defender drops back to the free throw line. This allows the wings to exert more pressure.

Strength: Across free throw line
Weakness: Top of Circle & corners

1-3-1 Zone

The One-Three-One Zone consists of a point station at the top of the circle, three players position across the free throw line and one player in front of the basket.

Strength: Across free throw line & Top of Circle
Weakness: Corners

Match-Up Zone The Match-Up zone can be ran out of either a two-three or one-three-one initial alignment, but assumes whatever form it takes to match the offensive alignment.

Strength: Matching offensive alignments
Weakness: Cutters

This overview of zone defense only scratches the surface of the in-depth study of defensive strategy you can find on HoopTactics. Be sure to check out all the available HoopTactics' Defensive Strategies.

Next in this tour of basketball basics is a look at combination defenses.

Click to learn about combination defenses.
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