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8 ways to beat the pick & roll.

How to control the different parts of the p. and r. and prevent easy baskets

A he pick and roll has been a staple of the NBA for years, primarily because of the 24-second clock. Like most of the pro sets, it has filtered down to almost every level of the game, since it is basically a sound and effective play.

It does, however, require some physical size, quickness, and good execution. Which means that the higher you go in playing level, the more likely you are to encounter the play and the greater the need will be to prepare your man defense to handle it.

The question that will immediately arise is this: What do you want to protect against the most: (1) the drive to the basket, (2) the jump shot, or (3) the pass to the roller?

Realistically, it will probably depend upon your opponents - their size, intelligence, and quickness. So you may have to have a different priority for every opponent.

Following are eight ways to defense the pick and roll. If you do not have the time for all of them, I would strongly suggest that you adopt at least two - to ensure a measure of variety.

Diag. 1, setting up the pick and roll with a ball reversal from #1 to #2 to #3, with #2 then cutting around the stagger screen (by #4 and #1), while #5 steps out for the p. and r. with #3.

The ball-handler (#3) can either drive to the hoop off the screen, pass to the weak side, shoot a jump shot from behind the screen (#5), or pass to #5 rolling to the basket.

Let us look at some of the ways in which the defense may nip this tough play in the bud.

Diag. 2, Straight Switch: As #3 comes over #5's screen, X3 jumps behind to take #5, while X5 switches to the driver. This is a good option to use whenever #3 and #5 are the same size. It will help stop the drive and provide decent coverage of the roller.

Diag. 3, Jump Switch: Similar to the Straight Switch, but with X5 putting pressure on any jump shot from behind the screen.

Diag. 4, Skinny Up: Since we do not want to lose contact against a good shooting #3 man, we have X3 throw his hips forward and get "skinny" - getting his leg over the top of #5's screen so that he cannot be picked. X5 can hedge a bit to help slow down the drive.

Diag. 5, Jam and Go Behind: X5 prevents the strong big man (#5) from rolling to the goal by putting his body on him, jamming his roll move, while X3 goes behind the screen to meet #3 on the other side.

Diag. 6, Slide Through: X5 sees the screen coming and steps back to allow X3 to go between #5 and X5. This option provides more help on an explosive driver, since X3 and X5 are both there waiting.

Diag. 7, Show Big: X5 keeps a hand on #5's hip and steps out into the driving lane, with X3 going behind. The purpose here is to divert #3 into taking a wider path, while the hand on #5's hip allows X5 to stay in contact if #5 chooses to roll quickly.

Diag. 8, Double Team: X5 leaves #5 and X3 stays with the driver (#3) to create a double team on the ball. The help side becomes important now, as X4 has to come over to absorb the roller, #5, and X1 has to drop low to take #2 (or X2 may take #4 while X1 switches out to take #2). The goal is to make the driver (#3) pass the ball under pressure.

Diag. 9, Send One: This is my own creation. When the p. and r. begins to take place, you bring over a man from the weak side (X1) to double-team the driver (#3). X5 jams the roller (#5) while X3 stays with #3. We now have a trap on the ball with no roller for #3 to pass to. X2 and X4 form a wall or zone up on the weak side.

Almost all of these options can be taught with 2-on-2 drills, with a third defender being needed in Diags. 8 and 9.

You will also have to prepare for such situations as the picker popping back for a jump shot and what to do if the screen isn't legal (a moving screen).

This kind of preparation against a basic play will give your defense the confidence to control dangerous parts of the opponents' offense.

It may also create some easy scoring opportunities by forcing bad passes or ball-handling turn-overs.
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Author:Kelly, Ivan J.
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:Dec 1, 1996
Words:788
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