Pin Screen: The Whole Part II

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series 5 player Combinations

The first pin screen article was written with a focus on the pin screen coming as a NBA out of a 5 out alignment. The diagrams showed numerous  single actions that can be easily followed by a pin screen. However, pin screens are no different than any other screen.  They are most effective when the defense doesn’t expect it.  So making it the first action every possession makes it more predictable.

If your players can set a pin screen after the first action, shouldn’t they be able to set one after the fifth action or the 15th action?  Of course a possession may not last long enough to have 15 actions, but the concept is the same.  Once a player finishes a cut, that player can set a pin screen. Pretty simple, right?  I think so, except let’s look at it a little deeper.

One question a coach should consider before having their players set pin screens is the player being screened for.  Do we want to set a pin screen for a driver?

Some coaches may say no. They might say this is a wasted action. If the player can’t shoot it, the screen is wasted and our offense is easy to guard.

Some coaches might say that it doesn’t matter who the screen is set for. The pin screen helps get the defense moving from side to side and increases the chances for a defensive breakdown.

I think this is something each coach needs to answer for their situation on their level. It might even be a question that is answered from game to game.

However, I think we should encourage our players to REGULARLY set pin screens for shooters.  You can change that to ALWAYS if you want. However, at least regularly, if a cutter notices a shooter on the weak side of the floor, they should look for that weak side defender and make the defense pay.  It doesn’t mean the passer has to make the pass.  It doesn’t mean that the shooter has to shoot it. However, the threat of this action will take some of the attention of a help side defender away from the ball.

We’ll talk about the pin screen from a 4 out 1 in alignment in the next post on pin screens.

Holding Shoot-around in Pre-Game Warm-up

This entry is part 3 of 20 in the series Practice

December 9, 2012

This blog post was going to be purely a story, but I decided I should turn it into a something that might help you out as well.

Our pre-game warm-up is basically a condensed version of a shoot-around.  I’m not sure how many of you actually have time for these types of “practices.”  You know, the kind where you come in the gym for 45 minutes or an hour, shoot a bunch of shots, run through your offenses, and go home?

Well that’s what we do for our pre-game warm-up.  We do our dynamic stretching routine and break a sweat with some light running.  Then we go through a series of 2 on 0 drills so players can handle the ball, pass, shoot, and finish, as well as work on the offensive reactions.  Then we combine actions 5 on 0 and shoot some free throws.  It’s pretty simple, nothing fancy, but the players can get the basketball part done in about 30 minutes.

Well, in a recent game, we were going through our warm-up.  The opposing coach was drawing up our actions on a board.  The coach then pulled the team in and showed them “our offense.”  I spent the next few minutes struggling to keep my composure.  If they only knew….

I love the fact that we can combine actions in a 5 on 0 setting in front of the other team’s bench before the game. We will show you exactly what we’re going to do.  The thing is that it will never be the same, ever. Even more, the combination of actions that we show in pre-game may never happen in the real game.

We know what we’re doing, because we do it every day, even though we may have never done it before.  Isn’t that fun?

Highlight of the Day

With the season in full swing, writing time is at a minimum. I’m going to be watching a lot of film.  So I figured I would start posting one highlight each day.

I will give a brief commentary on each one.  I hope the clips will speak for themselves.


These clips will reappear throughout the blog as I write on different layers.

Oh by the way, all these clips will be of players making plays.  Not one of these clips will be of a coach calling anything.

Teach your players.  Coach them.  Then let them make plays.