Newsletter #265

May 10, 2023


Today's Quote:  "In all the research you do as a coach, studying other coaches and championship-type situations, you find that all those teams combined talent with great defense. You've got to stop other teams to win." - Pat Riley


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

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

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 Downscreens

We defend down-screens by following in the cutter's footsteps, as we chase around the down-screen, and do not switch.  This is similar to how we defend the curl cut, where we chase the cutter and do not switch.

Why not just switch the down-screen? - as the X2 defender is in perfect position to pick up the cutter O4 coming around the screen, and X4 is in good position to take the screener O2.  Two problems could arise.  First, after the switch, you could have a big-little mismatch.  Second (see the second diagram below), the cutter may read this switch and instead flare out to the short corner for the pass and open shot, as X2 is caught inside.  So we do not to switch but instead aggressively chase around the down-screen.

Chase around downscreen

downscreen problem

Defending Backscreens

We switch back-screens. See the diagrams below.  O4 backscreens for O2.  As O2 cuts backdoor, X4 yells out the screen and switch, and prevents the pass inside to O2.  Importantly, the screened defender X2 quickly steps in front and around to get inside position on the screener O4, and avoid getting pinned outside.  This is usually not too difficult if X4 calls out the back-screen to warn X2 that it is coming.

After this switch, you may have a big-little mis-match and these defenders will switch back at the first opportunity.

switch backscreens

Defending Flare-screens (Fade screen)

A flare-sceen is really just a backscreen set on the perimeter - e.g. a wing-to-point back-screen.  Again, we switch this backscreen.  X1 takes the screener O2.  X2 takes the cutter O1.

switch flare-screens



Coach's Clipboard Premium Membership - join today! Immediate online access, comprehensive downloadable playbook included with offenses, defenses, plays, drills, coaching and player tips, animated diagrams, video clips, mobile-ready, pdfs for print-outs, and more! More info...
Coaches... get a group membership (deeply discounted) for all your coaches!

Coach's Clipboard Premium Membership

Put in a new offense or defense this season.
Run a special inbounds or buzzer-beater play and look like a genius!
Use a special defense to shutdown a star player.
Teach your team how to break a press.

Email your comments or suggestions.

Coach's Clipboard, US copyright, 2023, James A. Gels

Coach's Clipboard, Box 126, Charlevoix, MI 49720

facebook linkedIn linkedIn