Newsletter #264

April 26, 2023


Today's Quote:  "If you're not talking, you're not playing defense" - Doc Rivers


Today's Theme... Defending Screens (M2M defense)

We've already discussed defending ball-screens (pick and roll) - "over", "under" and "ice" techniques.

You must have a plan for defending screens.  Of utmost importance is communication between defenders and calling out the screens before they are actually set.  Coaches differ on the best way to defend screens.  No matter how you do it, you must have a plan, practice it, and make sure all players understand.

Defending Inside Post-Post Screens

A key is the screened defender always "steps under" the screener (takes a giant step back toward the baseline) - diagram K.

step under post screen

If the cutter goes low (baseline side), the screened defender gets an arm bar up and stays with her/his man (no switch)... "step under and stay" (diagram K2). The key is... the defender getting screened must step back toward the baseline before the screen actually arrives.

step under and stay
If the cutter goes high (over the screen), the defenders switch... "step under and switch" (diagram L).  The screened defender always steps-under (toward the baseline) just before the screen arrives.

step under and switch post screen

The danger with any inside lateral post screen is for our screened defender to get pinned inside.  This should not happen if the screened defender "steps under" the screen.  After stepping-under, she/he can easily get into the ½ fronting position from the baseline side.

Again the rules for defending lateral inside post screens are:

  • The screened defender always steps under before the screen arrives.
  • "Low cut" (the cutter goes low) = step-under and stay.
  • "High cut" (the cutter goes high) = step-under and switch.
  • We also "step under and switch" when defending inside post screens on baseline out-of-bounds plays.

Next newsletter, we'll discuss defending downscreens and backscreens.


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