We've all been there unless you have Shaq or Yoa Ming genetics we have all been in a spot were we have had to guard a much bigger player. Maybe you were forced on a switch or your teams center went down that night .This article will hopefully give you some basic tools and techniques too stop those embarrassing moments that lead to some very quiet car rides on the way home. I will be giving both examples of post up and perimeter type defense to help in all situations that could arise.
1. Initiate The Contact
Now while this might sound like the exact opposite of what you might want to do you have to remember that your advantage over a taller player is your leverage and center of gravity. It is also important to note that a taller player most likely isn't going to look to blow by you. There most likely going to want to either bully you in the post or get to there spot and rise above you. By Initiating contact you make it much harder for your opponent to get space and rise above you, while also not allowing him to get momentum and drive down hill. Kawhi Leonard is a great example of using this technique against guys like Lebron James Or Giannis. Initiating contact not only makes it harder for a taller player, it also helps your team by giving your teammates more time to get in help position or double team. Watch Below how a guy like Tony Allen standing a whole 7 inches shorter than Durrant can give him fits and slow down one of the all time great scorers.
2. Pressure up
Pressuring up against a taller player can be any easy was to give the advantage back to you as the defender. Its important to note that in defense you want to look at yourself as the one attacking them, (remember there naturally slower with a ball in there hand) . Even if they are faster then you by pressuring up you slow down there momentum and you don't allow a player to set up there dribbles and make a move on you. Its also important to realize that while this might be an effective tool to use against defenders it also important to give them multiple looks and make yourself unpredictable. Like anything balance is key and if you want to be the one attacking your defender you have to be unpredictable as well. Which Goes into to my next point below.
As the shorter Defender you have the ability to annoy and frustrate your opponent. One easy technique you can use on your defender is a faint. As he dribbles up to you, quickly sprint up and get into his air space, you can use this to either stay there and continue to crowd him or back up. Mixing it up likes this will make your opponent feel constantly rushed and questioning his every move. In the post if your opponent really has the size advantage you can use the method called"pulled the chair"
4. Force Your Opponent to One Side Of The Floor
Now depending on your teams defense or system this might not be for you. But if your really outmatched against your opponent, you can at least try to take one side of the floor away from him. You should try to either force him to the help side or to his weak side. In either case since your are shorter and lower to the ground if you really sit on his hip and he tries to cross over to the side your not forcing him too you should be able to get a steal. This is also a good fall back strategy to have your teammates come to help you with a double or a quick hedge and switch.
Now while its never ideal to have a big size mismatch against your opponent its usually not the end of the world and by using your advantages as the shorter smaller defender these situations can become easier and less challenging to handle.