If you want to increase your ability to get stops on the defensive end there is one trait that you should do on as many defensive possessions as possible. By just simply contesting every shot without fouling you decrease your opponent’s field goal percentage by 6-10%. The number might be small to you, but over a course of a game that has as many as 75 possessions in it if you can force your opponent into a majority to contested shots without sending them to the line you drastically improve your chances of winning games.
Not every player is built to be a great defensive stopper, but by playing smart defense with solid technique and consistent traits you can limit your match up to low shooting numbers. Having active hands and constantly contesting shots disrupts the vision of the player that you are defending as well as messes with their rhythm. Not every defensive possession has to have a blocked shot or charge taken to be a good defensive game. Most possessions are boring consisting of 5 players rotating, contesting a shot, boxing out, and securing a rebound. The key to contesting shots is not trying to block the shot, but just put a hand up, preferably in the face of the shooter and STAY ON THE GROUND.There is nothing worse than a defensive player that leaves their feet and fouls a jump shooter, or allows the offensive player a driving lane while they are in the air.
Here is a short video of Kawhi Leonard Contesting shots in different defensive situations.
He doesn’t do anything magical in these possessions. All he does is play solid defense by forcing the player that he’s defending into a contested shot. By contesting every shot he puts his team in a better place as the shooter will shoot a lower percentage than they normally do. Over a course of a game this can cause an opposing team to score 8-10 less points in a game by just staying solid.
To increase your value as a player and help your team more games.
JUST PUT YOUR DAMN HAND UP!!