Pin Screen: The Whole

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series 5 player Combinations

There are so many ways that teams can set pin screens.  They can come from any number of players at any number of times.  The coach must decide which are the best times and places to set pin screens.  In the Description of Pin Screens, a few different options are mentioned.  The primary focus for this section is the Next Best Action. Therefore, we will approach this topic from this angle.  Pin Screens can be set by post players or by alert perimeter players and do not have to be NBAs.  However, in order to keep things streamlined, we will talk about the NBA method first out of a 5 out alignment. This removes permanent post players from the equation and gives ample options for cutters.

As we mentioned in the offensive fundamental breakdown of the pin screen there are three players in this action that we must be concerned with: the ball handler, the screener, and the player being screened for. Since we are talking about this being an NBA, we must have a first action in order to have a second one. Remember our first action can come any number of places. It could be a simple pass & cut. It could be a dribble-at or a read line cut. It could come as a result of a back screen. It could come from an attack dribble and a kick out.

Think about this.  How many times have you ever seen a player attack the lane kick it out and immediately set a screen?  With all the attention going to the ball on the attack and then to the kick out, think about how blind the weak side defense would be to a pin screen.

So with 5 players on the court in a 5 out alignment, start the ball anywhere you want and have the players make one action of their choice and then set a pin screen once they finish their cut. They are learning that it is going to be pretty tough to set a pin screen on the same side of the court that they just passed to or cut from. Most likely, this screen is best set on the other side of the floor. In some cases, the player may have more than one option for screening possibilities.

Below are a few different single actions that can lead to pin screens in a 5 out alignment.  The first is a simple drive and kick.  The initial driver sets the pin screen for the weakside player.

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This is a simple pass and cut.  Most 5 out alignments have this corner player either fill back to the corner that they came from or back screen for the opposite corner.  While both of these are legitimate options, a pin screen works as well. Depending on how the defense rotates, 1 can screen 2’s defender.  If 4 drives baseline, 5 should be wide open.  Can 4 make this left handed pass?

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This just a simple dribble-at.  Again if 1 crosses over and goes baseline, there should be a wide open shooter on the weak side.

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Maybe 4 is being overplayed.  This is another way the Pin Screen can get set.  Remember 2 and 5 don’t have to fill.  They are more than 1 pass away.
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This is the same as the last diagram except the ball is in a different spot.  3’s cut is bound to draw attention from weakside defenders.  When they help, pin them in.



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Again, this is a simple Dribble-At.  In this case the ball is in the middle of the floor, so there is no “weak side”, but player 5 is 2 passes away so theoretically their defender should be in help.  If they aren’t, this can turn into a back screen/flex screen for a layup.

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The ball shifts sides of the floor on the skip pass.  While the defense is recovering to their new positions, 3 can find one who is in help and pin them in.  Most defenses can recover to one skip pass.  Can they recover to the second one when there is a screener there to slow them down?

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This skip pass may seem a little unorthodox, but against a team who is trying to keep players out of the lane, it sets up a nice pin screen on the weak side.

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Here’s another Dribble-At from a different location.  Even if 1 crosses over to their left and attacks the middle of the floor, 2 can seal in 4’s defender for a wide open shot.

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This is the most simple and straightforward action. It’s a simple pass and cut from the top.

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