In basketball, how do you defend a player who can outspeed and blow by you?

  1. Most important rule: Deny him the ball, he can’t beat you if he doesn’t have the ball. Deny but don’t over do it, because if you overprotect he could beat you on the backdoor if you over-commit (see Klay Thompson cuts to the rim).
  2. Don’t reach for the ball: When you reach, you’re body is in a stand-still and his momentum is going else where, especially with players with a good first step. Kyrie Irving is famously known for his “don’t reach, young blood” ads. Unless you have Kawhi/Scottie Pippen hands, don’t reach.
  3. Force him into a double team: Works very well with players who can’t dribble with their head high or can’t pass out of a double team. See Dwight Howard/Andre Drummond. They usually over dribble or over throw passes out of double teams.
  4. Stay in front of him: Let him shoot over you. Works incredibly well when you position yourself between him and the basket. It’s very difficult for players to shoot when there’s no space for them to gather a shot. Unless there’s a big physical difference between you and him, it’s going to be difficult for your opponent to hit shots when your whole body is blocking his ‘airspace”. It’ll be difficult for your opponent to establish a good shooting motion. Unless he has Kobe/Jordan skills. See Draymond Green/Kawhi Leonard, they leave their opponents shooting awkward shoots. For guards, see Avery Bradley, Chris Paul, John Wall.
  5. Force him into his weaker hand: This might not make him less quick, but it will increase your defensive efficiency.

Make sure to try to keep the ball away from him. If he does get the ball, try to block him as much as possible to deprive him of moving (see Zone defense in basketball ) to learn defense tactics and strategies to beat even the star players.

Don’t overcommit when you’re on defense. Always try to keep yourself in front of the other guy and don’t go after the ball because if you miss, the person you are guarding is going to blow right by you. Also, be physical and don’t be afraid to foul them.

Bernard Moussa has already given the perfect answer to this imo.

Read his wise words and put in that work on the court champ.


Your best bet is to try to anicipate where he is going. That way you can back up a few steps and be able to meet him at a certain point when he comes at you. Only issue with that is if u back off him he can pull up and stick a jumper in your face as well. When I played I caused some opponents this same issue. I was fast off the dribble but also a good shooter.

Another method is to actually “let* the faster guy go by you knowing u have teammates behind you to help you and catch him from behind. This works great if u are bigger than him and can block or disturb his shot from behind.

Play off of him and make him beat you with long jumpers. If he tries to blow past you anyway, you know he’s not a great shooter, so keep playing off of him. If he starts hitting the jumpers then all you can do is try to stick with him, deny him the ball, and frustrate him.

Get in superior shape and try to wear him down.

Deny him any easy touches so that he has to keep working every minute. Tough defense before he gets the ball also forces him to catch the ball farther out than he wants to.

Overplay his strong hand so that he has to use his weaker hand.

Also, if he is guarding you, try to beat him down the court when on offense and perhaps get an easy bucket.

Good luck.

If you’re only worried about the guy blowing by you to the basket and not whether he’ll take and make an outside shot, the best thing you can do is to back off two steps and try to cut him off if he does drive to the basket. That doesn’t include when a teammate of the guy tries to “screen” you to get his teammate loose.