I think there is definitely a use for playing small if you can get away with it. The game is evolving in front of our eyes and what was popular 10-15 years ago is changing. The european game is shaping what we do in the United States. It is common to see teams go small in international basketball and space the floor out. Just one more thing to add to the game of basketball
We’ve covered a lot of pick and roll this week. Yesterday’s blog was on how to build up and develop your replace big on pick and roll. Most pick and roll basketball is traditional 1-4/1-4 pick and rolls. Meaning the point guard is the ball handler and your power forward or center is the screener. As long as the screener makes contact on the guard there is so much that can be done with running a pick and roll offense.
If you do have a stretch 4 that you can bring out on the perimeter to take a big out of the plane and you have a wing that can post up having your post up wing set the on the ball screen could be an effective play to run. When Caron Butler came to Attack Athletics to workout with us 3 years ago he was playing for the Dallas Mavericks. When I found out that he was coming form my boss Tim Grover the first thing I did was hit the video to do some extra homework on Caron.
The thing that I always loved about Caron was how physical he was playing the game. I’ve watched him since he was a junior in high school at Maine Central Institute. It was easy to call out the fact that he was going to be an NBA player. He could play 4 positions and was such an athlete and a physical specimen. When I watched Dallas play and how they could utilize him was on having Caron set pin downs and on the ball screens.
With a physical small forward like Caron that likes contact especially on screens by setting on the ball screens and forcing the point guard to switch on him. With the point guard switch on the big wing you can roll them into the elbow or post and isolate them and take advantage of their size advantage.
Every day in our workouts I would put him through a 1-3 pick and roll drill to set a solid screen on the point guard force a switch and roll his smaller defender into the elbow/post. It was important for the point guard to enter the ball to him and then clear to the corner. This spaces the floor and takes their man out of position to help on the wing posting.
Here is the drill that we did. It is very simple. Stress your wing player to make contact and head hunt on the screen. Once the defenders switch have them make contact getting the point guard on their back and rolling them to the elbow/post. This is a great drill for the point guard as well teaching them to space the floor after the pass. Make the wing continue the drill until they score 4 baskets on both sides of the floor. Here is the drill diagram.
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Good luck and go to work.