Purpose: Defending down screens from the top into the weakside low post are somewhat more difficult to defend then a down screen from the wing to the post. The lane is often congested and can become a place where defenders can lose track of the person they are guarding.
This drill helps by specifically focusing on the diagonal down screen so the defensive players can become familiar and comfortable with defending this action. Teamwork and communication is the key; as is footwork, anticipation, and determination.
This drill also allows the offensive pair to work on screening, spacing, and using the screen effectively.
Drill: This is a 2-on-2 drill (2 offensive players and 2 defenders). The coach or passer is on the wing, as shown.
- The offensive player at the top sets a down screen in the lane to free up his teammate.
- The defender guarding the screener drops quickly, opens to the ball, and protects the basket from a possible drive. He should also be communicating by yelling out “screen”.
- The defender guarding the player receiving the screen goes over the screen to contest a reversal pass and to avoid trailing his own man. (You may teach the defender to trail the screen, but I would advise against it in this situation. To trail the screens, X1 would need to be in position to ‘bump’ the cutter, forcing the cutter out high. If X1 doesn’t drop or open up enough, O1 could sneak in behind for a pass).
- If the coach does not pass the basketball, the offensive players rescreen and continue the drill.
- Once the ball is entered into play, the drill is live; play to a score or defensive rebound.
- Communication by the defenders is a must.
- Stress proper defensive positioning and stance.
- Footwork and active hands are essential.
- To insure proper learning and development, call fouls, lack of communication, lack of hands in passing lane, etc…
- Rotate offense and defense after change of possession.
- The current twosome on defense must get a stop or they will stay on defense.