No doubt that Basketball is very popular in China. Since our readers are mostly amateur players or basketball fanatics who don’t play professionally I decided to help you with few ideas how to execute this the most popular basketball play – pick-and-roll – better!
If defense defends the first pick (or screen) successfully and there’s no options to shoot/drive/pass, screener can re-screen – set one more screen. It’s hard to defend two pick-and-rolls in a row especially if offensive players are highly skilled.
2. DRAG SCREEN OR TRANSITION PICK-AND-ROLL.
Every team in professional level plays pick-and-roll in transition at least few times per game. Very often after opponents’ missed their shots and your team grabs the rebound look for the opportunity to attack the defense before it is set. Lot of times drag screen can be better option than slowing game down and playing particular set play.
If screener is good outside shooter he should consider option of POP rather than ROLL. It puts lot of pressure to defense.
4. PUNISH YOUR DEFENDER GOING UNDER THE SCREEN.
First of all, if defenders constantly goes under the screen player should admit that there is problem with his outside shooting. If defense goes under the screen, it challenges you to take wide open shot instead to drive to the basket. UNDER = SHOOT or UNDER = CHANGE DIRECTION & DRIVE. Of course you can ask your screener to set one more screen if defense went UNDER the first screen.
5. REJECT THE SCREEN.
Playing same pick-and-roll coverage defense can be predictable and smart players should take advantage of every mistake defenders make. Of course it’s not always mistake but offensive player skill to read the situation and surprise defender.
6. SLIP THE SCREEN.
If opposite team is playing aggressive pick-and-roll defense coverage = screener being on the same level or the screen or above the screen then screener instead of setting the screen should cut to the basket. Effective vs. TRAP and SHOW&RECOVER pick-and-roll defense coverage, also vs. SWITCHING and also if defense becomes too predictable.
7. SPLIT THE SCREEN.
Ability to split the screen separates average ball-handlers to higher level ball-handlers. If screen defender not quick enough to “SHOW” effectively or he’s late there is an opportunity to split the screen.
8. CHANGE THE SCREEN ANGLE IN THE LAST MOMENT.
Big men who set the screen shouldn’t telegraph their route and side where they are about to set the screen. Change screen angle in last moment = hard to guard. Be step ahead of opposite team and don’t let them know your intentions ahead of time.
9. STEP-UP SCREEN vs ICE PICK-AND-ROLL COVERAGE.
“ICE” = pick-and-roll defense vs. side pick-and-roll. Ball-handlers’ defender doesn’t play straight-up but he changes his stance to “chest to sideline” NO MIDDLE STANCE. Big man drops and protect against drive to the basket. Since ball-handlers’ defender stance is different screener should adapt his screening angle “back-to-baseline” so ball-handler can attack more effective. This is called STEP-UP SCREEN. Of course there are other options vs ICE defense.
10. SHORT ROLL.
SHORT ROLL is another option for big man after setting the screen. Last season very often it was seen McGee, Zaza or Green catching the ball near “elbow” or free-throw line area and making play (shoot/drive or extra pass to shooter).
Very often when there are side pick-and-roll and one more team-mate in the corner of the same side of the court his defender often will be involved in covering roll man (it depends on angle of the roll and also coach philosophy). At this moment offensive player should lift from corner to wing area. Very often he will be open. If he can’t attack immediately after catching the ball he should look for post player. Principles for post player = SCREEN – ROLL – POST UP.
12. DOWN-SCREEN TO PICK-AND-ROLL.
Setting down-screen for ball-handler before pick-and-roll has been played can put more pressure to defense since both defenders aren’t prepared to defend pick-and-roll well. If defense not doing job defending down-screen, offensive players should take advantage it.
13. SET THE SCREEN TO BALL-SCREENER BEFORE HE SETS BALL-SCREEN. “25”.
To make screeners’ defender life harder it’s good option to set the screen for him before he sets the ball-screen to ball-handler. Especially if guard sets for 4 or 5 position player because option of switching the off-ball screen is taken away. Ability to effectively SHOW or TRAP can be taking away in this type of action before actual pick-and-roll because screeners’ defender not always can be in good position to defend the screen.
14. “SWITCH” – SIZE ADVANTAGE (BIG vs. SMALL).
If defense “SWITCH” ball-screen take what defense gives you. If team has luxury of dominant big man or defense has any weak post defender try to pass the ball to screener near basket or low-post area.
15. “SWITCH” – SPEED ADVANTAGE (SMALL vs. BIG).
In case team has great 1vs1 player who can effectively attack from perimeter = take what defense gives you. Most of the time guards can use their speed advantage over big man. Other team-mates should recognize this situation also.
16. DOUBLE-BALL SCREEN.
Use the option of setting 2 ball screens at the same time. Also can be option in transition if both big men are behind the ball-handler. Effective also can be HORNS offense since there is good spacing.
17. SPAIN PICK-AND-ROLL.
There are also more than one player screener involved in pick-and-roll. In this situation usually guard sets the back-screen to rollers defender. If not defender well Spain pick-and-roll can cause lot of problems for defense since there can be lot easy baskets scored.
18. FALSE MOTION TO PICK-AND-ROLL.
There is often seen teams doing false motion before actual ball-screen is set not even looking to score for first seconds of play but just to keep other defenders busy, so their aren’t well prepared to defend pick-and-roll.
19. FALSE PICK-AND-ROLL AS THE START OF THE OFFENSE.
Sometimes teams play also play pick-and-roll not even looking for score for all costs. It can be start of the set play as well. It keeps defenders guessing of what will be the next move of offense.
20. NON-TRADITIONAL PICK-AND-ROLLS.
LOCATION: Not always screen should be set in middle of the floor (High pick-and-roll) or near side-line (Side pick-and-roll). In this example screen is set for 4 or 5 position player in “elbow” area.
PLAYERS INVOLVED: Traditionally big man sets the ball-screen for guard but nowadays especially in NBA lot of players can play multiple positions. It’s not rare to see guard to set the ball screen to big men who can handle the ball well. In this example Korver sets the screen for Lebron to get force the switch so King has weaker defender on him.
Thank you for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com