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Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills
 

Defence
Ballscreen coverage


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These diagrams illustrate options to defend ballscreens as described in the Defence Skills Checklist > Ballscreen Coverage (with YouTube links). Also see Blog posts - Ballscreen Coverage.

The coverage progression is from passive to aggressive, starting with options for 2-on-2 coverage that avoid rotations (see Matt Woodley), and force the ball into the screen. The screen defender calls the coverage.

1) Gap
2) Switch

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1) Gap

X1 forces 1 into the screen, then goes under the screen and over X4, who leaves a gap.

X1 meets the ball on the other side, X4 helps for at least one dribble.
up

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2) Switch

X1 goes under the screen to switch, X4 has options.

a)

To contain dribble penetration, X4 and X1 come together under the screen (touch to switch).

Matt Woodley - X1 and X4 switch to touch under the screen.

Jim Huber - X4 is at the level of the screen, force 1 out wide, don't let him turn the corner.

Greg Kampe - X4 connects with 4 so he can't get split, steps out and takes the ball a step above the screen, don't let 1 come off and take a jump shot. X4 has his belly to the far baseline, it's not a hard shock.

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b)

For a more aggressive switch, X4 shows on the same angle as the screen (jump switch).
 
Ettore Messina - gap outside scoring range, jump switch inside.up

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3) Squeeze (Jam)

X4 jams up into the screener, X1 goes under both, recovers to X1.

Can be used if 4 is a pick and pop shooter.

Kyle Gilreath - it is easiest to jam a screen when the screener is stationary, not sprinting into the pick.

Chantal Vallee - if 4 is a good shooter, switch or jam, he will be open if you hedge.

Alvin Gentry - squeeze is a great way to defend a middle ballscreen, otherwise the screener can move down.up

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4) Drop (Soft)

X5 zones up below the screen, contains the ball and keeps screener 5 in front of him.

X1 chases over the top (or goes under), tries to recover to the ball or at least contest from behind.

Drop-and-under is exaggerated gap coverage.
 
X5 will zone higher if 5 is a pick and pop shooter.

If X1 gets beat, he and X5 may have to switch late.

Another option is a peel switch, X4 takes the ball, X1 runs through to take 4. This could be a planned tactic if 1 is a great player.up

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5) Weak

Force left (but not give left) into drop coverage. X1 denies access to the screen, X5 helps to contain the ball.up

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6) Ice (Force Down)

On a sidescreen, refuse access, force the ball down into drop coverage, X5 helps contain the ball (with a corner filled, X3 can also help).

Dave Smart - they weak everything on this side of the floor (ice).

Ice options

- Blitz (X1 and X5 trap)
- Switch or Veer (e.g. if X1 gets beat, or a shooter picks and pops).

Avery Johnson - sidescreen and close-out defence should be consistent. If the close-out is high-side, forcing baseline, then force the pick and roll baseline (trap and rotate to leave the furthest attacker open).

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Also ice if 5 readjusts the screen, X1 goes over or under a step-up screen.

X5 recovers if 5 pops for a pass, or X4 stunts then X5 recovers, or can X4 take 5 if he is a shooter.up

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7) Feather (Soft Hedge)

X4 gets to the level of the screen, soft (flat) hedges laterally (staying attached), X1 goes over the screen and X4.up

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8) Show and Recover

X4 shows on the same angle as the screen but stays attached, re-directs 1 then recovers to 4.


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X1 goes over the screen and X4.
 
Jeff Van Gundy - X4 often screens X1.up

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9) Show and Under

X4 shows and recovers, X1 goes under the screen and X4 to meet 1 on the other side.
 
Roy Williams - the Tar Heels show and go over, show and go under, or trap.up

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10) Shock (High-Low)

X4 shocks high to redirect 1 (does not stay attached to 4), X1 goes over the screen and under X4 to stay with 1.
 
Alvin Gentry - if not executed properly, X4 and X1 will run into each other.

Dave Smart - Shock and under - X1 goes under the screen (see Show and Under). They shock when going under (there's no split), show when going over.

Jeff Van Gundy - X1 can go over the screen or under it (the higher the screen, the worse the shooter).

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X4 recovers to 4 after X1 goes under.
 
Dave Severns - high hands back to the screener.up

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11) Trap

X1 and X4 trap, someone covers the screener (it could be X4).

Usually trap until a pass.
 
Dave Smart - attack blitz (shoot gaps) or control blitz (make him pass).up

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