How to Shut Down Ball Screens

The pick and roll/pop is essential offensive play in basketball. It gives you advantage in a way that a faster players attack slower opponent, or your higher guy is guarded buy shorter defender. 

If you want to build solid defense for your squad, you should teach them how to defend screens and what are the key features in being successful at it.

Lets analyze the options that you have.

First, the important thing is knowing what is the level of the screen. It is a line that is formed by the screener and a ball defender.

Level of the screen

Knowing this, and depending on the ball handler quality in therms of shooting/driving/passing, there are three options that you can choose.If you have semi good shooter, the player that is defending the screener can just make a horizontal movement, in the line with the level of the screen, and give the ball handler a notice that he is there. 

Show up on screen defense

The moment your ball guard recovers from the screen, the big guy needs to reconnect with the roller. 

Horizontal movement of the switcher on the pick and roll defense

If you know that the ball handler is a good shooter, you need to chase away him towards the center. This way of defending the screen we will call HARD HEDGE.

Hard hedge pick and roll defense

The goal is not to make him dribble to the position from where he can take easy jumper. 

Chase the ball handler on the pick and roll defense

And in the third option, your player that is switching on screen will stay beneath the screen line.

Do not show if there are no shooters

In this case, you know their guard is not a good shooter, and by this play you will close the driving lane.

Protect the driving lane.

Want to dominate on defense and shut down ball screens? Choose from our Defending the Pick & Roll Rental DVDs to learn all the ways you can stop the ball screen:


Mar 09, 2018 Coach Chris

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