I was out helping coach our freshman team at a tournament yesterday so I missed most of the game action from yesterday, but I took this clip from Sportscenter highlights a day before from the Suns/Magic game. The NBA is 75% pick and roll basketball and the reason why is simple, because it works. There are many variations of the pick and roll, mostly depending on how the defense is defending you on it. Pick and roll basketball is great because you ensure that the ball is always in the hands of your best players. In this clip here, Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson execute the pick and roll against a Phoenix Suns team which isn't defending it particularly well. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,
I was going through some notes and found this great teaching tip for the pick and roll from Ryan Krueger who is now an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets.
Remind your players of the "3 S's."
- Stay "square" (staying square as opposed to backing our defender down)
- "setups" (fake one way to come off another)
- "shoulders" (come off shoulder to shoulder with the screener)
Krueger says he spends a lot of time with his players going over reads but no matter the read, it is important that the players remember the "3 S's."
At the high school level and lower, I think the most often read you should practice against is the simple switch. If your screener is your best player, you will probably want to hit O4 on the roll against X1 for an easy mismatch. Otherwise, as a secondary you can have O1 vs X4, and O1 should be able to attack off the dribble against a slower defender, or make a move and shoot over top with the threat to drive.
For more ideas on the pick and roll and how to execute and defend it, take a look at Jeff Van Gundy's DVD on the pick and roll. Van Gundy goes through all the different reads of the pick and roll. Discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.