How to Set a Screen in Basketball
So you want to learn how to set a screen in basketball? That is very noble of you. While many players are only interested in getting open and scoring by themselves, you have chosen to get your teammate open. Setting screens, or “picks” as some people call them, is a very important part of any offense. A screen is essentially one offensive player blocking a defender so that another offensive player can get open or score. There is a little more to it, but just follow the steps below and you will be voted “least selfish player” in no time.
To learn how to set a screen in basketball you will need:
- One offensive player
- One defensive player
To set a screen:
- Locate the defender. This piece of advice seems obvious, but you want to set the screen on the defender, not the offensive player. Not every defender will be right up in the face of the offensive player. It is important to see where the defender is and to set the screen appropriately.
- Find the angle. The angle you take to set a screen depends on where the defender is playing. You may be able to take a straight line, or you may have to make a “V” cut to get in proper position. A good rule of thumb is to make a “T” with the defender’s shoulder and your chest. Therefore, you should line up perpendicular to the defender.
- Plant your feet. Use a jump-stop when setting a screen. Your feet should hit the floor at the same time and once you are in position do not move for any reason. Referees love to call offensive fouls and a moving screen is just too obvious. Keep your knees bent and absorb the impact.
- Roll! The pick and roll is perhaps the most beloved of all offensive plays. Karl Malone and John Stockton made their careers out of this simple sequence. After you set the screen, pivot on your back foot and open up to the ball. Be sure to roll open wide. This will allow you to continue to inadvertently block the defender and you may also be open for an easy bucket.