Executing Proper Picks

They say that 75% of offensive plays in the NBA are pick and rolls. At the college level, many programs make use of the pick and roll extensively such as UConn. While many of you coaches at the lower levels probably run much less than that, nevertheless, the screen, and specifically the ball-screen is probably the most utilized play in basketball so it's execution is nonetheless vital for both player development and your team's success. This is a good clip showing screening action and how to screen and how to come off screens properly. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

Here are some key points on setting screens:

1. Signal the screen, you must tell the player that you will be screening for him by raising your fist and using your thumb to gesture which way to go.

2. Jump stop. Use the jump stop to set your screen. Many times, especially the young players shuffle their feet because they aren't set properly.

3. Screen tight. You want your hands overlapping at the wrist over top of the groin. You want to be at a minimum 6-inches away from the defender. Let the defender run into you.

We'll cover the ball-handler using the screen in another post but the main thing for the screener is to signal the screen, set your feet, and stay strong. I see alot of kids that don't set their feet and get called for offensive fouls. Or they don't signal the screen and the ball-handler has no idea how the screen is going to be set.

There is a great DVD by former Houston Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy on the pick and roll offense. How to use it, how to defend it. Also, head over to the X's and O's Basketball Forum to take a look and see what I have on pick and roll stuff.