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Tactics
Ben Braun ballscreens


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Ben Braun

Using and reading ballscreens.

Try to create mismatches. Take advantage of a good ballhandler, ballscreens are effective for small players. Ballscreens can be very difficult to defend, and create confusion.

Attack teams on the backside, a lot of teams end up zoning because they over-help on the ballscreen, you get a lot of 3-on-2's and 2-on-1's on the backside.

When teams front the post, or deny from the baseline side, it's hard to step out and hedge a ballscreen. Defending a post flash from the weakside, again it's hard to deny inside then step back outside to help on a ballscreen.

Make defenders help out on a backscreen then hit them with a ballscreen, or make them defend a ballscreen then hit them with a screen.

Fast break

1 stays not too close to the sideline. If trailer 4 is denied he takes one step to the basket then comes right up to ballscreen and pops. It's hard for X4 to deny the trailer and hedge on the ballscreen. 1 doesn't want to go sideways (east-west), he wants to come off at angle, and should turn the corner if the hedge guy is late, to drive and finish or dish.

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Optionally have 5 backscreen for 4, both screens take place at about the same time. 5 can roll to the basket or step out to hit a jumper.

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Fronting the post

Any time a low post is fronted or denied from the low side, it's a perfect time to ballscreen, it's hard for X5 to deny and help out.

Reading the screen,

- if the defenders force 2 baseline (away from the screen) and trap, 5 can roll to the middle and keep a help defender on his back, or step up at the elbow for a pass, 2 pulls the dribble back
- against a hard hedge and recover by X5, one option is a quick roll by 5, or 2 wants to hesitate (an extra dribble) and go to turn the corner, pull-up, or hit a weakside wing
- there's a mismatch if defenders switch, you should score, 5 can screen then pivot to get guard X2 on his back, a pass can be over the top
- or screen and slip to the basket if you know your man jumps out hard, start to set the screen then slip as soon as you don't see him anymore, in this example 5 would be showing his left hand for a pass.

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Post flash

A flash post situation is a great time to ballscreen, take a step higher if the defender is working hard to deny a pass, but don't take him off the hook by coming out too high. 2 starts setting his man up and driving as he sees the screen coming.

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Backscreen, ballscreen

1 passes to 2 and basket cuts using 5's backscreen, then 5 ballscreens for 2, X5 is going to have trouble helping on two screens.

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Then X5 gets hit with a staggered backscreen by 1 and 4.

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Ballscreen, flarescreen

4 has one foot inside the circle, the other foot out at an angle (set the screen in the scoring area), then bumps and fades off 5's flarescreen (don't go all the way to the corner), ball in the air, feet in the air. If defenders switch, screener 5 slips to the basket or steps back for a shot.

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Double low post

4 flashes high, takes one more step to ballscreen, rolls, 5 pops up opposite, look for a high-low pass from 5 to 4. X4 is playing from the inside then has to help outside on the ballscreen.

1 can run this to either side.

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Double ballscreen

2 tries to post up, 1 uses a staggered ballscreen by 5 and 4, 3 dives to post, 5 and 4 stagger screen for 2. 4 or 5 will slip to the basket if their man helps on the ballscreen.

If they know X5 will hedge, 2 will pop to the wing for a pass and hit 5 slipping to the basket (a bounce pass away from the defence).

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3-man weave

Permanent high post 4 can ballscreen for either 2 or 3 coming from the wing, or ballscreen for 1 as he starts to dribble over for a hand-off to 2 or 3 (4 can ballscreen up top or off the elbow). 5 stays opposite the ball, 2 can go backdoor if his man helps or cheats on the hand-off.
 

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Down series

1 dribbles at the wing, 5 downscreens for 2, then X2 gets hit with a ballscreen by 4. 4 rolls if X4 hedges hard.

See Horns - zipper fist.

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Reading a ballscreen at the top

Against a hard hedge by X4, hit the wing, 4 keeps X4 on his back for a pass.

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A lot of teams like to trap the point guard, very few teams trap the wings because they are bigger players who can see the floor.

1 uses his pullback dribble, 4 steps back into the passing lane to shoot or reverse the ball.

Another option is that 4 can quick roll to the basket and 3 comes up for a passing angle.

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If X1 goes under the screen, 4 re-screens, 1 makes a pullback crossover.

Against teams that go under ballscreens it's very important that you don't set screens outside the scoring area. Set the screens even closer to the basket to take advantage.

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1 can also step back and shoot behind the screen, 4 turns and re-screens for a jumper.up

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