Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Sackmann ballscreens

DJ Sackmann

Ballscreen workouts, with reads and options.
1) Drag screen
3) Middle ballscreen

See YouTube playlist - Ballscreen reads, also Tactics - Hanlen ballscreens.

1) Drag screen

See YouTube video - How to use a drag screen.

A drag screen is a screen set by the trailing big, which typically initiates a secondary break opportunity (or hit the trailer).

"Pin-ball dribbling" using three cones - 1 starts with the ball in his outside hand, goes between the legs, skips and goes between the legs again at the next cone, takes two steps (inside-outside) into a speed-stop exchange at the last cone, opens up (shoulders to the mid-line), bounces out with the left hand, drops, attacks middle with two dribbles into a pull-up jump shot (the middle cone is a screen).

Progression - 2 goes when 1 gets to the last cone, 1 can't attack middle until 2 goes between the legs at the second cone, 1 goes right off his back.

On a side pick and roll, open up the shoulders to the mid-line, you can hit the trailer, come off a screen, or reject the screen (with a push crossover).

Variation - skip hesitation pull-up (look off the big), see Sackmann Lift footwork.up

2) Side ballscreen

See YouTube video - Ballscreen workout.

Two cones on each sideline.


From the bottom cone, turn-out dribble and bound (out to a drop position), attack middle, on the first dribble look at (look off) the big (roll, pop), get inside the nail on the next dribble for a pull-up jumper.

Reid Ouse - Cross-step - from a drop position, take a slow cross-step and go.


b) Refuse the screen

Bound, push crossover, look at the screener (who would pop or rim run on the refusal), another dribble to a pull-up jumper. Find a gap if the corner is occupied.

See YouTube video - Refusing the ballscreen.

Ouse - Spin seal - cross-step uphill, spin seal (reverse dribble) to reject the screen. Also see Sackmann Spin-seal workout, and Shooting - Drop series (Ballscreens).

c) Split the screen

Bound, inside-out dribble, one dribble using the screen, push crossover, floater or runner. For a transition floater, hop off the inside foot, land on two or outside-inside.

See YouTube video - Ballscreen split footwork.

d) Zone coverage

The screen defender zones up, is late to hedge.

From the slot, two dribbles to the wing (L-R-L-R), exchange (behind the back), open up shoulders to the midline, drop, one dribble, hop off the inside foot, land on two for 2-point or 3-point shot.

Mike Lee - Best ballscreen drill  - get your defender to the level of the screen, not necessarily the ball to the level of the screen.up

3) Middle screen

See YouTube video - Middle pick and roll drill.

Three cones, the top cone is a screen.


Start outside the top of the key, ball in the left hand, go between the legs (or any change of direction) to the elbow area, stop inside-outside, exchange the ball behind the back (speed-stop exchange), drop the inside (left) foot back, bounce out, land in a drop, turn the corner, get into a runner (floater), inside hand off the outside foot, go 3 times, switch sides.
- 1 goes off the back of the next player at the middle cone
- horns set - make a move at the top cone into a hop pull-up off the inside foot at one of the second cones.
See Dribbling - Relph 3-cone series (Ballscreen refusal).

b) Snake the screen

As you start to turn the corner, the screen defender zones it and the on-ball defender goes over, pause, snake the screen (e.g. push crossover) back to the opposite elbow for a pull-up. It's hard for a right-hander to go 1-2, you might have to hop and land on two.

See YouTube video - Snaking options, also Kyrie Irving brake check.

c) Fake the snake

The on-ball defender goes over the screen, attached to your hip (or maybe goes under and re-engages), show a snake or split using an inside-out dribble, load up, run into space with a right-left cross-step, shoot.

See YouTube video - Fake snake, also YouTube playlist - Lateral separation, Shooting - Snake pull-ups.


- shoot from behind the screen
- skip hesi pull-up
- attack a hedge.
Sackmann - Side-step footwork - attack middle, step out with the ballside foot, back the other way to shoot left-right behind the screen (defender goes under).

Sackmann - Hop footwork shooting - hop on the inside foot, land on two, you have to be able to shoot a 3 if your defender goes under, a 1-2 all the time is tough. See Shooting - Thrive23 footwork (Hop pull-ups).

Sackmann - Attacking the vertical hedge - turn-out dribble and step out, attack the top foot.

Sackmann - Pick and roll vs a trap - bounce out and bounce pass to a short roll, spin seal (go back where you came from), or get around middle.up

This page was made with Basketball playbook from Jes-Soft

2007-23 Eric Johannsen