Friday, June 4, 2010


The following are strategies from Alvin Gentry for defending the ball screen courtesy Sean Miller and the Arizona staff:

1. When guarding the ball handler "hold your ground." Don't allow him to locate the ball below the hash mark. be physical when guarding the ball screener. "Hold him up," (i.e. Charles Oakley). Don't allow him to run in a straight line to set the ball screen. The combination of both defensive concepts moves the ball screen further away from the basket.

2. On a sideline ball screen when guarding the ball handler, force him to use the ball screen. A baseline drive in this situation creates problems for the defense.

3. When guarding the ball handler, go over top of the ball screener. The defender guarding the ball screener hedges out far and extends himself so that the ball handler can slide under him and over the top of the ball screener. If this concept is not executed properly, the ball handler and screener will run into each other.

4. As the screen defender hedging, you want the ball handler to take one "big dribble" toward half-court as he comes off of the ball screen.

5. Versus a sideline ball screen set with a shooter -- "pre-rotate" and leave early.

6. Anytime a ball screen is set clearly above the NBA 3 point line, go under the ball screen when guarding the ball handler.

7. Versus random ball screens on the break "drop-n-plug." There is not hedge. The defender guarding the ball handler can go over or under the ball screen.

8. He has tried to trap ball screens but guard in the NBA are too good. Secondly, the opposite low post player "punches" in the middle of the lane under the goal, which makes the rotation very difficult to get in front of.

9. When defending ball screens versus great players, he makes a choice of what to give up. for example, in a ball screen situation versus the Jazz and John Stockton, he want the ball handler defender to go under the ball screen. He would rather give up a jump shot than deal with Stockton's penetration.

10. When "icing down" the ball screen take the ball screen defender and place him below the ball screen in direct line with the basket and take the ball handler defender and now allow the ball handler to utilize the ball screen...the ball defender has to defend the dribble aggressively so that the ball handler doesn't drive right at the ball screen defender. If the ball defender doesn't defend the ball aggressively, the penetration will hurt the defense.

11. Versus a middle ball screen "squeeze and go under" is a great way to defend. Anytime the ball defender goes under the ball screen you have to "squeeze." If you don't squeeze, the ball screener has the ability to "move down" therefore allowing the ball handler to use the ball screen at an advantageous position -- too close to the basket.