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Drag (Offensive Play): In offensive basketball terminology, a “drag” is a play or action where the ball handler, typically the point guard, brings the ball up the court while a teammate trails behind them, usually a big man or forward. The trailing player sets a screen for the ball handler near the top of the key, allowing the ball handler to drive toward the basket or make a play off the pick-and-roll.

The drag play is designed to create offensive opportunities by forcing the defense to make decisions. The ball handler can use the screen to attack the basket, pull up for a jump shot if the defense goes under the screen, or make a pass to the rolling big man if the defense collapses.

Drag (Defensive Tactic): In defensive basketball terminology, “drag” refers to a defensive strategy or tactic used to slow down the opposing team’s transition offense. When a team employs a drag defense, the defenders purposefully retreat back to the half-court area immediately after a made basket or an opponent’s rebound, rather than aggressively pressing or trapping the opposing team in the backcourt.

By executing a drag defense, the defending team aims to set up their half-court defense quickly, minimizing the fast break opportunities for the opposing team. This strategy allows defenders to get back in position, protect the basket, and establish defensive matchups, reducing the chances of easy scoring opportunities in transition.

The decision to use a drag defense is often based on factors such as the opposing team’s speed, skill in transition offense, and the defensive team’s ability to defend against fast breaks. It’s a tactical choice made by coaches to prioritize defensive stability over pressuring the offense early in the possession.

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