This is a drill I used often at Princeton to make the team work together as a defensive unit. It also helps the offensive player rely on his own skills in case he gets in a situation during a game in which he needs to dig himself out of a hole.
The drill is quite simple. Five defensive players switch off as one offensive player brings the basketball up court. The defense swarms, trying to get only a steal. The offensive player does not shoot, only dribbling and using his speed and dribbling skills to avoid turning the ball over. Do not call fouls or backcourt.
At least 6
This drill helps players come together as a defense. Put your top five defensive players on the floor. I have spoken to many of my former players about our practices and most everyone, including current Kings General Manager Geoff Petrie, agree that this helped them on defense more than anything.
Add more than one offensive player and only allow them to pass and dribble. Another variation would be to work in a rebounding drill with this drill. One tip I have is that the least important part of practice is shooting the basketball.
A player can work on shooting anytime. Practice is for rebounding and defense.
Defensive Teamwork and Offensive Individuality
This basketball drill is licensed under a Creative Commons License. This drill is from Pål Degerstrøm at www.degerstrom.com/basketball.