Pick and Roll Offense

Basketball Pick and Roll Offense

By Dr. Hal Wissel

Greater emphasis is being placed on the open or spread offense, dribble penetration, and the ability to draw and kick to three-point shooters. The pick-and-roll (also called the ball screen) is one of the oldest plays in basketball, but it is now being used more than ever. The pick-and-roll has become popular as a method for gaining dribble penetration and then drawing and kicking-either kicking in to a player near the basket or kicking out to a three-point shooter.

At the professional level, the pick-and-roll has become a primary part of the offense for most teams. It has also become a part of college and high school play. Pick-and-roll is a broad term for many actions. In the pick-and-roll, the picker sets the pick and then rolls (cuts to the basket) for a possible inside shot off a pass from the ball handler. If the picker is a good shooter, a pick-and-pop may be used; this play has the picker popping out for an outside shot rather than rolling to the basket.

Pick-and-roll plays may be a part of a set offensive attack or a part of an early offense at the end of a fast break. Several types of pick-and-roll plays may be used, and they can take place in various spots on the court, including the top, side, elbow, and corner.

The following are some common pick-and-roll plays (figures 1 to 6).

High Pick-and-Roll.

Figure 1. Player 5 sets a pick at the top for player 1. Player 1 dribbles off the pick, forcing player 5’s defender to give help. Player 1 takes at least two dribbles past the pick to create space. Player 1 can shoot a jump shot, pass to player 5 rolling to the basket, pass to player 4 cutting up to the weak-side elbow, pass to player 2 in the strong-side corner, or pass to player 3 in the weak-side corner.

Fig.1 High PR

High Pick-and-Pop.

Figure 2. Player 4 sets a pick at the top for player 1. Player 1 dribbles off the pick, forcing player 4’s defender to give help. Player 1 takes at least two dribbles past the pick to create space. Player 1 can then shoot a jump shot, pass to player 4 popping to the weak-side elbow area, pass to player 5 cutting to the strong-side low post, pass to player 2 in the strong-side corner, or pass to player 3 in the weak-side corner.

Fig.2 High PP

Side Pick-and-Roll. Figure 3. Player 4 sets a pick at the wing for player 1. Player 1 dribbles off the pick, forcing player 4’s defender to give help. Player 1 takes at least two dribbles past the pick to create space. Player 1 can then shoot a jump shot, pass to player 4 rolling to the basket, or pass to one of the other players (2, 3, or 5) set in a triangle formation on the weak side.

Fig.3 Side PR

Side Pick-and-Pop. Figure 4. Player 4 sets a pick at the wing for player 1. Player 1 dribbles off the pick, forcing player 4’s defender to give help. Player 1 takes at least two dribbles past the pick to create space. Player 1 can then shoot a jump shot, pass to player 4 popping to the corner, pass to player 5 ducking into the lane, or pass to player 2 or 3 spaced out on the weak-side perimeter. Elbow pick-and-roll Figure 11.22.

Fig.4 Side PP

Elbow Pick-and-Roll. Figure 5. Player 4 sets a pick at the elbow for player 1. Player 1 dribbles off the pick, forcing player 4’s defender to give help. Player 1 takes at least two dribbles past the pick to create space. Player 1 can then shoot a jump shot, pass to player 4 rolling to the basket, pass to player 5 ducking into the lane, or pass to player 2 or 3 spaced out on the weak-side perimeter.

Fig.5 Elbow PR

Elbow Pick-and-Roll to High-Low. Figure 6. Players 4 and 5 set picks at each elbow. Player 1 dribbles off player 4’s pick, forcing player 4’s defender to give help. Player 1 takes at least two dribbles past the pick to create space for a pass to player 4 rolling to the basket or to player 5 popping high to the top. When the pass is made to player 5 at the top, player 5 looks first to pass to player 4 posting low in front of the basket; player 5 may also shoot a jump shot. Players 2 and 3 position themselves in each corner to spread the floor.

Fig.6 Elbow PR HiLo

Error: You fail to create space when dribbling by the pick, thus allowing the help defender to defend you and the pass back to the picker.

Correction: You must dribble at least two dribbles past the pick to create space for a pass back to the picker.

 

Pick-and-roll plays may also be a part of an early offense at the end of a fast break. Various early-offense plays use the pick-and-roll in different spots on the court, including the top, side, corner, and elbow. The following are some common early-offense pick-and-roll plays (figures 7 to 13).

Only INSIDER MEMBERS may view the following early-Offense pick-and-roll plays (figures 7 to 13).

Early Drag (pick-and-roll). Figure 7.
Early Dribble Drag (pick-and-roll). Figure 8. 
Early Double Drag (pick-and-roll). Figure 9.
Early Wing (pick-and-roll). Figure 10.
Early Step-Up to Pick-Picker Pick Flare. Figure 11.
Early Dribble Drag (pick-and-roll). Figure 8. 
Early Double Drag (pick-and-roll). Figure 9.
Early Wing (pick-and-roll). Figure 10.
Early Step-Up to Pick-Picker Pick Flare. Figure 11.
Early Step-Up to Pick to Corner Pick-and-Roll. Figure 12.Early Step-Up to Pick to Corner Pick-and-Roll.
Figure 12.

Early Backdoor to Corner Pick-and-Roll. Figure 13.

Early Drag (pick-and-roll). Figure 7.

Early Drag (pick-and-roll). Figure 7. Player 5 sets a pick at the top or side for player 1. Player 1 dribbles off the pick, forcing player 5’s defender to give help. Player 1 takes at least two dribbles past the pick to create space. Player 1 can then shoot a jump shot, pass to player 5 rolling to the basket, or pass to player 2, 3, or 4 spaced on the perimeter.

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