Examples of when to trap:
1. When a specific opponent catches the ball in a prime area such as the low post.
2. When a specific opponent dribbles once or twice in the post or on the wing area.
3. When opponents run isolation plays.
Examples of where to trap:
1. Low post.
2. Baseline or lane area when there is penetration.
3. Wing area against a pick/roll or a 1-on-1.
4. Corners. The “corners” along the baseline and those where the half-line meets the sidelines are nice areas for trapping, due to the help the lines add to the defense (D-1).
Examples of whom may be trapped:
1. Good low post scorers.
2. Good 1-on-1 players.
3. Pick and roll participants.
4. A playmaker in good feeding position.
5. Any weak ballhandler.
There are some automatic trap situations:
1. An offensive player has a defender in a “bad way” and is ready to score.
2. When a smaller player is mismatched in the low post.
3. When a big player is mismatched outside and faced with defending a good smaller 1-on-1 player.
4. When there are 10 seconds or less remaining on the shot clock and the ball is in good position or with a good scorer having the ball.
Using a “live man.” A team may use its smallest man, or quickest man to be ready to trap in the low post whenever he thinks he can do it profitably. He can be called the “Sandman,” throwing sand on the fire. Or, it can be set up so that whoever is guarding a certain poor-shooting opponent will be “live,” the Sandman.