EL CAJON, CA — One of the most effective defensive strategies in Lunchsketball is the full-court press. When done properly, 10 point deficits can be erased and replaced by 10 point leads. A lot of the press success has to do with the apathy of teams with large leads. Up 20 points or so, Lunchsketball players tend to favor experiencing their lunch break as a leisurely stroll, from baseline to baseline. They are not interested in making aggressive cuts to get open for the ball. Point guards resultantly find themselves stranded, alone on the opponent’s end of the court, left to deal with ferocious, full-court defenders.
This does not work out well for point guards. It seems that in general, the typical lunch player is relatively more advanced as a one-on-one defender than as a dribbler or passer. The defender, more often than not, has a skill advantage. So the press is very effective, especially late in the game when the guys are winded. That is when a pressing team might send one of their quicker guys down court to take the ball away from an isolated AARP-eligible dribbler. When one player is left to face a defender on an open court, with no option to shoot the ball (because the basket is too far away), the player who is dribbling is a sitting duck.
Lately, those ducks have been transforming into turtles. A solution has emerged from the great tactical minds of the game; an innovative answer to the dreaded press. It is simple, and easy to remember: Turtle. In Lunchsketball, this simply means to stop dribbling, tuck one’s limbs around the basketball, press it to the bosoms and make a protective shell of the body. When a dribbling teammate is under assail, but you are too far away to help him, you yell “Turtle!” It is a simple command that pierces the clouds of panicked confusion. The dribbler then assumes Turtle position until help may arrive.
So that is your tip of the day. If you’re dribbling, and you’re alone, and you’re in trouble, remember the Turtle.