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What Is Man-to-Man Defense in Basketball?

Learn what man-to-man defense is from the Harlem Wizards in this Howcast basketball video.


Swoop: Hey, Broadway.

Broadway: Yeah.

Swoop: You know what? I told you I'm a good scorer, right? I get those baskets?

Broadway: Yeah. And you learned how to pass.

Swoop: I did today. And, you know what? I'm learning a lot of stuff from you, man. The only thing is that I'm trying to figure out, is no one can ever check me, so, you know what? We need to help the people learn how they can play better defense on a scorer like me. You know what I'm saying? Because when I get that ball, you know what I'm saying, you're in the cooker! You know what I'm saying? I'll put you in the cooker!

Broadway: The cooker?

Swoop: The cooker! Because I'm cooking them!

Broadway: Oh...

Swoop: Yeah! Frying them like fish!

Broadway: Fried fish? [laughs]

Swoop: Yeah, fish! And chicken!

Broadway: Oh, you're frying fish and chicken.

Swoop: Yeah, and sweet potatoes.

Broadway: No, you can't fry that.

Swoop: OK. Well, anyway, they're in the cooker...

Broadway: They're in the cooker... Now, you want to get them to turn the stove on?

Swoop: See, I'm trying to let them know they've gotta play D on me and if they can't stop me...

Broadway: They're gonna get cooked.

Swoop: That's right! 'Cuz I'm gonna cook 'em!

Broadway: So, we're gonna teach them how to de-cook you

Swoop: De-cook me. D cooks me.

Broadway: D, with the emphasis on being on the D, Defense.

Swoop: Yeah, that's right. Defense. Man to man defense. Mano y mano.

Broadway: OK.

Swoop: [laughs]

Broadway: So, what we're going to do is we're going to teach everybody how to play man to man defense.

Swoop: You got it.

Broadway: And we've brought a defensive expert here.

Swoop: Ooh, that's right!

Broadway: The King.

King: Hello everybody; how are you doing?

Broadway: Basketball royalty.

Swoop: That's right.

Broadway: King Awesome. Now Arthur's gonna show you a proper defensive stance. First, you wanna get your feet about a shoulder width apart. You see that? He's got his feet pointed forwards, got his knees bent, butt's down, heads up, you wanna keep your head on the basketball. So he's ready to move laterally, he's ready to move with the ball, he's sliding- noticing, he's not coming up out of his stance.

Swoop: Right.

Broadway: See that? And he wants to be on the balls of his feet...

Swoop: So he can be able to move quickly. You know what? I don't think that's gonna work.

Broadway: It'll stop a guy like you.

Swoop: I don't think that's gonna work. You know what, let me just show them how I cook them real quick, all right?

You gonna cook them right now?

Swoop: All right, OK. Oh, OK, All right, [basketball noises, grunts] You know what, this ain't even a real game. It's not a real game.

Broadway: What?

Swoop: This thing, it's not real.

Broadway: You couldn't go by him!

Swoop: No, what's happening, see, is I have this thing going on right here, in my 'cam string.'

Broadway: Your what?!

Swoop: My 'cam string.'

Broadway: Your 'cam string?'

Swoop: My 'cam string' right here.

Broadway: Does that have something to do with the side of your leg?

Swoop: Yeah, right there, the 'cam string' right there.

Broadway:Oh, OK.

Swoop: Yeah, if that was fixed, I would've went by him easy, here.

Broadway: Oh, OK. But he does play good defense.

Swoop: That was pretty good defense, yeah.

Broadway: So we want to talk to the people about the fundamentals of defense.

Swoop: Right.

Broadway: You want to keep your feet shoulder-width apart on defense, you want to get a good knee bend, you want to keep your bottom down, and you want to make sure you keep your hands active and stay on the balls of your feet. And that will teach you how to play good defense and not get cooked.

Swoop: By the cooker.

[everyone laughs]

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