Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Nail pick and roll

Snyder and Rajakovic
FIBA Assist issue 41

Also see Tactics - Van Gundy ballscreens.

The "nail" is a new pick and roll location (above the middle of the foul line). The nail zone is maximized through the use of a live dribble, i.e., the ballhandler has caught the ball and not yet dribbled, allowing him to pivot, pass fake, pass, hand-off, dribble hand-off, shot fake, shoot, or attack on the dribble. These multiple threats without committing increase the likelihood that his defender will make a mistake. The screener is able to effectively twist the angle of the screen, and may change his body angle to seal his defender and roll quicker. By having the option of waiting to attack, and not immediately declaring a side of the floor on receiving the ball, the offence limits the opportunity of the defence to anticipate and pre-rotate. The opportunity for isolation is also preserved and maybe disguised as well.

The diagrams show potential actions for a nail pick and roll. The screen can be angled or flat. Also see Offence - High-low.

a) 1 passes to 4 and exchanges with 3, 5 ballscreens.

b) 1 passes to 4, cuts looking for a hand-back, keeps going to the far corner, 5 ballscreens.

c) 1 passes and cuts for a hand-back, 4 dribbles at 3 for a hand-off.

5 picks and rolls, 4 gets behind the arc.

The evolution of the shooting 4 has had a profound effect on spacing.

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2007-17 Eric Johannsen