Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...
, a double team
, double teaming
, or double-teaming
) is a defensive alignment in which two defensive players are assigned to guard a single offensive player.
Among basketball strategies in which defenders are assigned to specific players (as opposed to "zone defense
Zone defense is a type of defense, used in team sports, which is the alternative to man-to-man defense; instead of each player guarding a corresponding player on the other team, each defensive player is given an area known as a "zone" to cover....
s" in which they are assigned to specific regions of the court), each defender is assigned to one offensive player (a "man-to-man" alignment). However, when an offensive player is overwhelming his or her defender, another defender may help out and create a double team. A successful double teaming can greatly impede that offensive player's movement and passing, such that passing him or her the ball frequently results in a turnover
In basketball, a turnover occurs when a player from one team gives possession to a member of the opposing team by losing the ball. This can result from the ball being stolen, the player making mistakes such as stepping out or throwing the ball out of bounds, or committing a violation or committing...
. However, because devoting two defenders to a single offensive player leaves another offensive player unguarded, if the offensive player succeeds in both receiving the ball and passing it to that teammate, the teammate's likelihood of making a shot becomes much higher than usual.
Double teaming is employed more frequently near the basket than away from it because a
) offensive players' likelihood of making any given shot is greater and b
) because players tend to congregate near the basket when the ball is in play there, a double-teaming defender can more easily break away if necessary (e.g.
, to recover a rebound
Rebound can refer to:In films:* Rebound , a 1931 movie starring Ina Claire and Robert Ames* Rebound , a 1959 movie starring Lyndon Brook and Jane Hylton...
or to block a shot from another player). One common offensive strategy is to have a tall, physically imposing player (usually a center
The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well...
"post up" to force a double team, such that he can then either shoot or pass to the unguarded player (often a strong long-distance ["outside"] shooter attempting to make a three-point
A three-point field goal is a field goal in a basketball game, made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc radiating from the basket...
shot). A defending team may also double-team a good offensive player away from the basket simply to interfere with the offensive team's preferred tactics.