Pick and Roll Passes
The pick and roll is such an important part of our game. It’s not just an offense where point guards handle the ball. Today you can see every wing position handling the ball in the offense. I’m not going to breakdown all of the options and ins/outs of it as mastering all facets of the screen and roll is very extensive.
The part we are going to talk about today is the passes that you can make out of the screen and roll. In any situation when you have the ball in your hand I always teach force two defenders to guard one. Once you accomplish this if you make quick passes and space the floor you ill force the opposing team into scramble mode on their rotations.
Obviously the first option on this will be for the ball handler to score. But, what you need to understand is there are four other players on the court that can be options to score. All four of your teammates play big factors in this offense as well. Let’s look at some of the factors that make the screen and roll successful.
1.) GOOD SPACING- Besides the ball handler and screener all other non post players should be spaced out outside the three point line. They can be aligned any way that you want but make sure they are spaced out beyond the three point line. This will force the defense to space out as well or when they are in help position it forces them to close out long opening up shots and drives on long closeouts.
2.) SET UP THE DEFENDER- Take the defender guarding the ball away from the screener and then the most important thing is to change speeds. Try to set the defender up slow and then attack at a faster speed. Changing speeds is essential for any good screen and roll. Last thing on this make sure you don’t leave a lot of space between the ball handler and screener. The more space you give, the easier it will be for the defender to push up and take you away from the screen. I’d say no more than 8-10 inches i between ball handler and screener.
3.) MAKE SURE YOUR SCREENER HEAD HUNTS- A big issue with a lot of screen and rolls breaking down is the screener no making contact with the defender guarding the ball. No question that sometimes the screener slips, but in general when there is no slip very few screen and rolls actually have the screener hitting the defender. Making contact is very important. It enables the ball handler to have an advantage forcing things such as switches or open lanes for the ball handler to drive. There are also rotations that will open up weakside shooters or smaller defenders to guard your big men.
4.) SCREENER MUST ROLL HARD OR SPACE- It doesn’t matter if you have a big man that likes to roll or screen in either case its important that they sprint hard after the screen is made. If they roll, make sure they roll hard this will allow them to get deeper position in the lane for a layup/finish or a post up after the roll. The faster he moves the harder it makes it for the defense to react to it. On the screen and pop make sure that the screener generates a lot of space in between the ball handler and them. This will make the defender taking them have to sprint out longer and make it harder to guard. The roll/pop man is the first option as far as passes go
5.) OPPOSITE BIG DUCKING IN OR REPLACING- Usually if you face a defense that likes to show on the screen and roll this will force the other big to take the roll or pop man on the screen roll. Your other big which more times than not will be spaced at the opposite block. They for the most part duck in on the weakside in front of the rim, since their man has to leave them to take the roll/pop guy on the screen roll there is going to be a smaller wing player that tries to guard them for a short period of time. Usually on the rotation after the initial defender that showed out on the screen and roll sprints back to the paint he bumps the smaller defender off the duck in offensive player resetting the defense. You have a small window of time to hit the duck in big when he has a smaller defender on his hip. You’ll see this in the video. On the replace (Usually on high screen and roll) its important for you stretch the defense out and create a lot of space in between you and the replace big that usually ends up at the opposite elbow. On most high screen and roll defensive coverages the big man guarding the screener shows on the screen and roll and they take the replace big at the elbow. This coverage is called show high stay high. Again like anything else the more space you create between you and the screener the harder it is for defenders to guard it.
6.) SPOT UP WING PLAYERS- OK so after you rolled/popped the screener and the opposite big replaced/rolled you have your spot up shooters. Usually they are spotted up in the weak side corner and wing/ top area on side screen and roll. On high screen and rolls they are usually in both corners. Your spot up players are very important as when you initiate your drive on screen and roll. You can open up your shooters a few different ways. The first is penetrate the paint and force weak side defenders to protect the paint opening up one of your wing players. The second is on your side screen and roll raise your duck in big from the block to the elbow and fill the ball side corner with a shooter. On the roll this will force this will force the defender guarding the shooter in the corner to either leave your shooter to bump the roll man or stay on the shooter and allow the roll man to get deep position. On the high screen and roll you can turn the corner and force the defender on the weak side corner guarding your shooters to leave and help on your drive.
It takes a lot for teams to master playing the pick and roll. Just like any other offense you need to have good spacing, limit your dribbles and when you drive make direct drives. Ball handlers don’t waste your dribbles going side to side make direct drives that force off the ball defenders to leave their men and opening up passing options. Obviously everyone likes to be a scorer but you have to be able to add things to your game If you are just a one dimensional player that wants to score all of the time opponents will scout that and shut you down knowing that you are going to look for a shot and cant find open players. This will make you easier to guard. There are a lot of options on a screen and roll besides you and the screener. Its important that you find different options as there are many and the way to discover them is by trying them in practice. You can scrimmage or play a lot of 3-3/ 4-4 before and after practice.
It’s all about adding to your game. One dimensional players can play no question, but eventually defenders are going to figure how to stop the one thing that you are good at. You need to learn how to pass the ball. All positions 1-5 need to be able to make passes, it will just add that much value to your game.
Here is some video to show passes made by all wing players 1-3 on screen and roll. Most of what we have covered here will be in the clips. Notice not only the ball handler changing speeds and setting up the defender. But the spacing and movement by the players not involved that are either spaced out outside the three point line or the opposite big that ducks in or replaces.