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Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills
 

Defending
Messina ballscreens


sketch
1
Ettore Messina via Jon Giesbrecht
mensbasketballhoopscoop.com

Drills to work on ballscreen defence. Although pick and roll defence depends on quickness and mobility of your players, and ability of your opponents, there is a need for basic rules. They force 2 on 2 play defensively as much as possible.
 
Good teams know when to be very aggressive (deny) and when to contain/protect (shrink) during a defensive possession, don't let the offence get comfortable.
 
See Defences - Dave Severns ballscreens.
 
a) 2 on 2

Cones restrict space. The screener sprints out, his defender communicates the coverage on the first step.
 
Defending the 5-man, show or play flat (zone, shown); defending the 4-man, show or switch, can't play flat against a 4 popping, will never recover in time.
 
On a middle ballscreen, X1 gives the ballhandler only one option, shades to his weak hand, then "rear-view" contests (chase over the screen). If 5 re-screens, X1 rolls under, off the screener, and again shades weakhand.
 
A flat ballscreen is the most dangerous, very important to give only one option.
 
Game progression - force the ball where there are two defenders (first and second line of help) to limit how much the big helps.

sketch
2
b) 3 on 3

All players are randomly divided into three lines (guards and bigs play every position). The player at the top passes and cuts through, the opposite wing sprints into a side pick and roll. Players must recognize how to defend and attack different situations, e.g. mismatches.
 
(Variation - 1 cuts to the ballside corner and fills behind the ballscreen. Either way, 2 should read 1's defender)
 
See Attack/defend - 3 on 3 sidescreens.

sketch
3
If 2 catches the ball in scoring range they jump switch (switch vertically, with X5`s feet pointing to the sideline, X6 goes under the screen).

If 2 takes a back (retreat) dribble to create space, they switch back.

If a big reverses the ball from the top and follows to ballscreen, they want to switch 1 through 5.

sketch
4
If X6 does his work early and forces a catch one or two metres outside the 3-point line, he goes under the screen (and over X5).

If a guard gets a pass from another player followed by a ballscreen, they want to force a perimeter catch out and away by denying, allowing the on-ball defender to go under the first ballscreen.

They want to deny as much as possible, go under on the first pick and roll, force a re-screen, then the offensive angles change.

If a ballscreen comes up from the baseline (a step-up screen), force the ballhandler down (down, ice).
If 5 sets the screen, X5 protects the paint; if 4 (a shooter) sets the screen, X4 switches with X1 (who goes over the screen). If X4 zones up, there is no way he recover on a pick and pop.

See Defences - Kevin O'Neill ballscreens.
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