Updated: Jun 7
The Center is the anchor of the 23 Zone. In this post, we are going to take a look at the Responsibilities and Steal Opportunities for the Center in our 23 Zone.
The Center is the anchor of your 23 Zone defense. As they are positioned directly in front of the rim It becomes their main objective to make sure that any paint shot or drive goes through them. Putting a player with some length and shot-blocking ability in this position will maximize the defense's advantages. Having that kind of player in this position will allow your guards and wings to be even more aggressive on the perimeter. If your roster does not include a player that fits that description then getting someone willing to step in and stop the basketball, play physical defense, and rebound is the next best option.
The responsibilities of the Center are fairly simple compared to those of the other players. Each of these responsibilities centers around making sure that every drive and paint touch is guarded. Staying in the line with the basketball, contesting shots at the rim, and guarding perimeter drives are not going to create a ton of steal opportunities for the Center, but they are going to be critical in maximizing the defense's potential. Perhaps the most important thing the Center is responsible for is not a physical movement but his talking to other defenders who can't see the movement of the offense.
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Center Responsibilities -
The bulk of what the Center is responsible for is simply staying in line with the basketball and making sure that any penetration from the perimeter meets resistance at the rim. Aside from the diagrammed tasks below The Center must take on the main role of talking any cutters through the defense. As we said in the introduction, size helps but is not required to complete the tasks of this position.