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Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills
 

Defending
Greenvale off-ball screens


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Lloyd Mitchell

There are four ways to defend a screen - over, under, through, and switch. Defenders are encouraged to fight over in most instances. The screener's defender calls the screen, and it's his decision to get over, under, through or switch, the call must be clear and early.

a) Over

X1 makes the call to "get over". As 1 moves to screen, X2 closes his stance and makes contact with 2 to reduce the effect of the screening angle, as 2 cuts off the screen X1 slides up the lane to force the cutter away from the basket, creating a gap between the screener and the cutter for X2 to get through. X1 then snaps his arm and head, finds 1 and opens up into stance.

Advantages
- ease of denying the ball
- prevents a shot
- encourages responsibility to stay with your man

Disadvantages
- possible screen and roll
- penetration over top of the screen defence.


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b) Under

X1 makes the call to "get under", as 1 sets the screen X2 opens his stance to get his shoulders square to the ball, dives to the basket to get under the screen, then closes out hard into denial or on-ball stance. As 2 cuts off the screen, X1 tightens up on his man to reduce the distance for X2 to get around and gets a hand up, then opens up on the help line low in stance.

Advantages
- prevents inside looks
- prevents penetration

Disadvantages
- allows a shot
- difficult to deny
- can encourage laziness in the defender.

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c) Through

X1 makes the call to "get through", as 1 sets the screen, both defenders step towards the ball, X1 creates space for X2 to get between 1 and X1, who can grab X2 and pull him through. X2 closes out hard into denial or on-ball stance, X1 opens on the help line low in stance.

Advantages
- shorter distance to close out

Disadvantages
- difficult to get through the gap
- can promote penetration or outside shots.


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d) Switching

X1 makes the call to "switch", as 1 sets the screen, X2 steps below the screen and forces 2 to use the screen, as 2 comes off the screen, X1 slides up the lane to force the cutter away from the basket, X2 slashes his arm over 1 and gets his shoulders square to the ball, low in stance.

Advantages
- he doesn't see advantages or encourage this approach

Disadvantages
- encourages young players to take the easy option and take less responsibility for their man, which often results in mismatches that suit the offence.

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