How to Defend a Corner Fill

Recently I was fortunate to spend time with almost 20 NBA players for a week at the NBPA Top 100 Camp. One term that was used by one of them when defending a shooter in the corner with a potential wing-baseline drive was, “Body here, mind there”.

I absolutely LOVE that term. In the illustration below, here what we’re talking about.

Many times when players are defending a corner fill, they are taught to not help on any penetration because the corner 3 is the 3rd most effective shot in the NBA. However, on occasion the defender falls asleep and the offensive player in the corner shoots backdoor for a lay-up. This new term, helps minimize any defensive mishaps.

Body Here= Body is in the gap, up the line and on the line, shrinking the floor and trying to prevent the penetration from initiating. Below, X3 is defending Kevin Durant but his body is in the gap taking away the driving space from Westbrook. The distance X3 stands from his man is determined by their man’s threat as a shooter. Quick catch & shoot guys require more attention.

Mind There= While your body is in the gap, your MIND must remain on your man who is in the corner. While X3 is in the gap, his mind is focused on Kevin Durant as a primary scoring threat.



Let’s break this down even further…

X3 has three primary jobs when defending a corner fill:

  1. Shrink the floor (Close Space)
  2. Stunt (One quick foot and hand fake before the penetration arrives)
  3. Step-Up (Closeout on Pass)

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