This article is republished with permission. The original article appears at Pick and Roll Decision Making ft. C.J. McCollum and Coach Chris.
In todays post Coach Chris will talk about decision making when playing pick and roll/pop action. For this occasion Coach C will be using some videos of C.J. McCollum.
Pick and Roll is a play that has one goal: try to create miss match in terms that the bigger player has the advantage over smaller player under the basket and that the smaller and faster player has the advantage over bigger and slower player on the perimeter.
As there are variations in defending this screen action, it all comes down to recognizing the plays and making fast decisions. Lets get started.
What is wrong with this defensive play? I would say just about everything. Both defenders made errors. Why? First, you need to know who are you playing against. CJ is a grate long range shooter, and Nurkic, the screener, is not. The proper way of defending this screen would be that the guard defending CJ needed to go over the screen and Lopez would need to show. Instead of doing this, McCollum`s defender went under, and Lopez decided to stay in the “pocket”, closer to paint area. This opened space for an open jumper.
On this play we have more bad decisions by defense. We have a player that is guarding CJ “dying” on the screen , and player defending screener is just being passive and stays on the free throw line, where he has no chance of defending just about anything.
In this case, CJ is going to play some unconventional away from the screen action. He read the movement of both his direct defender and a player that guards the screener. I might add that both of them made the right moves in terms of going over the screen with the help defender getting up hight on the arc. But, CJ saw this and made a decision to go and “Reject the Screen”. He took a huge first step towards the open floor (yellow circle) and gave himself the opportunity for an open shot. Lets see the picture.
In our next play, Coach Chris is highlighting two things. First, the bad hand position by the defender, and second, McCollum`s awareness of that bad defensive stance. yellow line indicate how the hands are positioned in this play particularly.
Coach C always says that one hand is attacking the ball, while the other hand is high preventing the shot. So, to be more clear, we marked whit the RED LINE where the other hand should be. No matter who are you guarding, one hand must be up.
In this video we are going to analyze how to prepare for the screen as a offensive player. When ever you have aggressive defender on the ball, tell your players to try to bump him to the point when they are in the level of the screen. Why? If the screen is set high, the defense has more time to react and to catch up with the action, but if you are near the 3 point line, right after the screen you have the opportunity to shoot a jumper, and if you try to drive to the basket you will have less ground to cover.
Everything that we heard today from Coach Chris is basically Read and React Basketball. We need to teach our players what to expect of some plays, and we need to train them to feel comfortable in those situations so they can make the right decisions.