Originally Posted by 01amberfirewv
I think most people play zone in pickup games. When people aren't used to playing zone they usually leave some holes though. I like to drive and dish because it almost always is there
I think this is definitely a regional thing (amongst other influences such as age and ability). Up until a few months ago, I figured it to be an absolute rarity for street teams to run zones but I've chatted with a few folks and discovered there's some spots out there where man-to-man
is actually the rarity.
That said, in all my streetball experiences, a zone defense comes about once every one hundred games, if that. When it does
pop up, it's usually a pretty weird experience. Often, it's a sign of defeat before the game even starts because the opponent acknowledges they cannot match up. Those games usually get ugly quickly.
Other times, it results in a terrible, terrible foul fest where all defenders camp and hack, at which point the offense must decide whether they want to take their chances at shooting an endless stream of open outdoor three pointers into the wind or just continue checking the ball up over and over again after every foul. It becomes a challenge of who's more stubborn.
One way or another, I'll take street man-to-man over street zone any day of the week (both playing against or playing with). Playing against an organized and active zone defense while playing for a real team or league is one thing. Running into a standstill zone at the park that your two low end teammates fail to understand how to attack is another.
Streetball zones are not as bad as when I'd coach against 7th grade girls B Teams who'd pack the paint with a collapsed 2-3 (pro tip: low level 7th grade girls basketball players can't make a shot outside of four feet), but sometimes it can be close.