Attacking "On-Ball" Screens

On Ball Screens

Attacking "On Ball" screens requires communication, teamwork, and enthusiasm.

The number of teams that are using On Ball screens (screen & roll) as an integral part of their offensive is increasing. Since On Ball screens can produce a variety of quick hitting options, they pose a real threat to any team that is not prepared to defend them. Players must be able to recognize and aggressively attack all On Ball screens

Teams can deploy players setting On-Ball screens in the following ways: screens only (usually a non-shooter), screens and rolls to the basket (size mismatch), screens and pops out (usually a shooter), fakes the screen and cuts away to basket (active, triple threat).

Types of "On Ball" Screens to defend include: Mid Screen, Side Screen, Horns (Double Mid Screens), Tandem Side Screens, and Dribble Handoffs (Weave).

Seven Ways to Effectively Attack "On Ball" Screens

The following defensive tactics can be used in disrupting On Ball screens no matter where they occur on the court:

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PREVENT

Force the ballhandler in a direction away from the screen.

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Completely eliminates the "On Ball" screen

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JUMP SWITCH

Aggressively switching, not allowing ball reversal. Double team the roll.

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Use when ballhandler is shaky or screener is offensive threat.

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TRAP

Double Team the ballhandler coming off the screen. Low "Helpside I" defender rotates over to take away roll option.

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Use when ballhandler is a big offensive threat.

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TRAP EARLY

Double team ballhandler before the screen takes place.

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Use when both ballhandler & screener are offensive threats.

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SHOW & RECOVER

Hedge and fight over the screen.

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Use when both ballhandler & screener are offensive threats.

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SHADOW (Zone)

Screener's defender sags off and assumes a support position.

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Use when ballhandler is a penetrator and screener is not an outside threat.

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JAM

Jam or disrupt the screener and go under the screen.

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Use when ballhandler is not an outside threat.

 


Game Time Strategies & Deployment

Fortunately, players will not be expected to execute all the different ways to disrupt On Ball screens during a game. In fact, normally only one or two of the options will be deployed according to the coach's decision based on the specific opponent's strengths and weaknesses.

However, these options are subject to change during the course of a game. Therefore, to be successful in attacking and disrupting On Ball screens, they must be constantly analyzed during the game as to why and how they are being set. Once analyzed, the defense can take the initiative, and readily attack it.

When disrupting the double mid screen (Horns) alignment, the On Ball defender should influence the ballhandler towards the side of the weaker of the two offensive screeners. All close out rotations must take place as ball leaves passer's hands. Once matched up, basic disruptive defensive fundamentals are in effect. Should the wing drive baseline, baseline trap rotations occur. If the ball is passed into the post, "post trap" rotations take place.

Push the Ball: When a turnover does occurs or when a bad shot is forced during an On Ball screen situation, it usually triggers a fast break opportunity that can lead to an easy transition basket.

 

 

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