Newsletter #159

April 24, 2019


Today's Quote:  "Good basketball always starts with good defense." – Bob Knight

Today's Theme... Defending the Pick and Roll - "Over", "Under", and "Ice" Techniques

There are many ways to defend the pick and roll, but you really only  need one, two or three ways to do it, keeping it simple, and getting really good at it.  Communication between defenders is key.

"Over" (no switch)... with "over", the screened defender aggressively fights over the screen by getting into the ball-handler while also stepping his/her inside leg over the screener. This method avoids switching and "big-little" mismatches. The disadvantage is that if the screened defender does not get over the screen, the ball-handler is loose to shoot or drive.

Prevent this by having the X5 defender "show" over the screen to contain the ball until X1 can recover. When X5 shows over the screen, this forces the ball-handler away from the hoop and allows X1 to get over the screen more easily. X5 then quickly recovers to O5 with high hands to deny the pass.

Trapping press

"Under" (with a switch)... here the screened defender X1 goes under the screener. The disadvantage is giving up the open outside shot by the ball-handler. To avoid this and to pressure the ball, we "jump-switch" with X5 sprinting above the screen to pressure and contain the ball. So a switch occurs with X1 on O5 and X5 on O1, possibly resulting in size and quickness mismatches. 

I like the way Coach Andrew Grantz plays the pick and roll at the high school level. He switches all pick and rolls and aggressively attacks the ball.  See this video.

"Ice"... communication is key. The post defender X5 yells out the screen and "ice". The ball defender X1 immediately steps up to deny O1's middle dribble-penetration, forcing to the sideline. X5 sprints up, squares up the ball-handler and with X1 contains the ball-handler, or forces to the sideline, never allowing the middle. At this point, X5 should not feel responsible for O5 and in fact does not leave the O1 trap until either (1) O1 picks up his/her dribble, or (2) X1 calls X5 off.  Only then will X5 recover by sprinting to O5 with high hands to stop the pass from O1. X5 gets help from helpside defenders also.  See this video.

Trapping press


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