Pin Screen: The Whole Part III

As mentioned in the previous post on pin screens, this post will extend the discussion of setting pin screens in a 5 out alignment to a 4 out 1 in alignment. We covered setting pin screens as Next Best Actions out of the 5 out alignment. That’s the simplest way to teach players to set pin screens out of this alignment.

In the 4 out 1 in alignment, the opportunities to set pin screens as NBAs still exist.  There are not as many opportunities as in the 5 out alignment, but they still exist. In addition, there are a number of other opportunities to set pin screens with the permanent post player.

A previous article discussed the location of the permanent post player in a 4 out 1 in alignment. It’s pretty obvious how a post player on the weak side can set a pin screen for the perimeter player on the weak side.  All they have to do is find their defender and screen them. Their defender should be pretty easy to find. If the ball is on the wing, they are probably very close to if not in the lane.  That’s exactly where the post player should be. There should be very little effort involved.  It’s just recognizing this defender and screening them. What if the defender is not in help? Well that’s even better.  That provides open opportunities for cutters and penetration. If they are in help, they are susceptible to this screen.  Even if they see the screen coming, they still have to avoid the screen to get to their player on the pass. This extra second creates the opportunity for a poor closeout as well as a post entry.

If the defender leaves too early, they will take themselves out of help position.  If they leave when they are supposed to, they will be fortunate to closeout in time.  If they hesitate at all, they will be at a disadvantage.


Page 342The basic 4 out 1 in alignment offers an immediate pin screen opportunity as long as the post is on the weak side. This can be very effective way to begin an offensive possession. Especially if the ball handler is a threat to attack., the help side defenders can’t anticipate the pass. They have to be ready to help, which makes the pass and screen easier to execute.








Page 345This alignment is achieved when a player cuts and fills to the ball side corner. Remember 4 doesn’t have to fill up because they are more than one pass away. With the post on the weak side this sets up another good opportunity for a pin screen.  The perimeter player has the freedom to work the whole weak side of the court to catch their defender asleep.  All the post player has to do is find that help side defender.








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This is fairly typical alignment. Whether it follows a pass from the top to the wing, or a dribble at, when the player cuts and fills to the weak side, they set themselves up for a great pin screen.  Their defender stops in help like they are supposed to, and then all of a sudden they are being screened in.  Of course the pass has to good and the player has to be ready to play with it when they catch it, but the X’s and O’s are pretty simple.






Page 344Here’s a unique looking alignment. This is easily accomplished if 2 starts on the left wing passes to the top and cuts through to the corner.  1 could also be on the left wing and dribble at 2 who cuts through to the opposite corner.

Now we have the possibility for two different pin screens.  5 could screen for 2 or 4. Either one would work just fine. On this pass, 3 or 4 should cut following the skip pass rules.  This cut could be enhanced by a back screen following the pin screen.

If the help side cheats the screen, you’ve got a clear out on the left side for your point guard. If your point guard can beat the defender in front of them, something good should happen.






I just listed 4 examples of how to set up a pin screen when you are playing with one post player and after one action has been executed. Of course your teams will learn how to set them after 4 and 5 actions as long as your post players are on the weak side. The NBA options are still available as well which gives your team even more ways to set pin screens. I hope this helps your team score more points.