I hear this from a lot of players watching my videos. And for those players asking this question, the defender is not your issue.
The question itself is the issue. A quote that I’m sure you have heard, from one person or another —
“Be concerned with your preparation, not theirs. Your execution & desire, not theirs. Don’t worry about them. Let them worry about you.”
What the defense is going to do should not be your greatest concern. What you should be focused on is what you are going to do, your strengths, your game plan. A highly skilled player does not tailor her attack to the defense — the defense is forced to adjust to the skills of the player they face.
Look at your favorite players in games — you pretty much know what you’re going to get from them. Derrick Rose will attack off the dribble with slick, agile moves into the paint and finish. He’ll shoot if you leave him open and maybe, with a hand in his face if he makes a few.
LeBron will attack in the open court and can’t be stopped. He’ll find open teammates and create his own shot — any shot he want — if necessary. He can shoot from anywhere but does the most damage in the paint. He will draw fouls in bunches.
Kobe has a great face-up triple threat game with a lethal first step. he will get you off balance just a little bit — that’s all he needs — to get his shots off. he makes a handful of tough shots every game. He is deadly in the 3-9 foot area, and draws a lot of fouls on defenders trying to block his jumpers.
Get the point? The best, most skilled players have an MO of how they play regardless of the defender that night. Kobe does not change his game based on his defender — the defenders make special arrangements to defend Kobe.
How can you get your game to the level where the defense has to plan for you? Work On Your Game. The Hoop Handbook would be a good first step.