Sunday, May 20, 2018


Its one of the most utilized offensive fundamentals of the game.  Whether you are playing 3 on 3 or a full on 5 on 5 real game competition, screens are a great tools that should be practiced daily.  What is  screen?

Image result for setting a screen in basketballScreen - When a player uses his/her body to block a defender to get their teammate open for a shot.  One of the most historical teams of all time UCLA won 10 national championships with great offensive techniques which included spacing, ball movement, players moving with out the ball, timing and screens!  To this day, the UCLA screen is still being used throughout the country because of the tremendous success this screen opens up when used correctly.  Even as I watched the women's final four this past March I noticed great screen setting and use in order to create quality shots especially from Notre Dame.  Love watching them play, very fundamental and very high IQs.

The current trend that most teams use in today's game on the men's and women's game is the ball screen which forces the defender to have to choose how they will guard the ball.  With the ball screen, defenses may switch, hedge, trap or even go under the ball screen which is primarily based on the kind of offensive threats they are up against.  If the guard is a good shooter, then usually a hedge, trap or switch works best.  If the guard is more effective getting to the rim, then going under the screen is best to cut them off before they turn the corner.

Another factor to consider is the players setting the screen. The person setting the screen is typically the person who gets open because their man has to communicate that a screen is coming their teammate, they have to help and recover.  These factors give the screener seconds to roll, pop or even slip based on how they are being guarded.

Screens in the game of basketball are an act of selflessness.  A player who is committed to the team's success and focused on getting someone else open will always set a good screen.  This is a great motivator for players who don't see their purpose within a play - If you set a great screen, You will get open.  Its that simple.

KBJ's 4 Tips to using screens:

  1. TIMING: Wait until the screen is set before you move, if you are moving at the same time as the screener that's an unforced turnover (moving screen)
  2. SPACING: make sure you have adequate space to set/use the screen
  3. RUB: Rub off screener shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot so the defense can not slide through
  4. AWARENESS: Take what the defense gives you. Check to see if the screener's man helped over - then the screener is open, or if helpside came over, then their man is open  

Whatever level you coach, whatever style of play you coach, screening is a huge part of the offensive fundamentals that all players must develop.  I encourage you to work on setting, using and defending screens daily.  Go through various types of screens so that your players are familiar with them all: UCLA screens, ball screens, flex screens, flare screens, pin screens, down screens, back screens, cross screens and stagger screens.  Great floor spacing and solid screen setting will yield great open shots for any team.  Check out for more blogs related to this article.