Defending the Cross Screen - Screen the Screener Sets [ARTICLE]

Defending the Cross Screen - Screen the Screener Sets

By: Lee Rose

Originally Published in: Winning Basketball Fundamentals

Provided by: Human Kinetics


Execution, communication, and techniques versus cross-screen, screen-the screener sets.


When offensive teams see the defense forcing down crossing action and how the defense plays the cross screen, they will change and involve a third screener in the play, causing more defensive adjustments. Players begin on the half court five on five. Follow these steps:

1. Play begins with O1 in the middle of the court above the top of the key, O2 on the left block, O5 on the right block, O4 in the middle of the free-throw lane, and O3 on the left side, free-throw line extended.

2. O1 passes to O3 and moves directly to the right-side free-throw line extended. On O3's catch, O2 executes a cross screen for O5, who relocates to the left block. Both X2 and X5 must execute their defensive techniques to avoid getting caught in the screen. X2 forces O2 down and low so that O2 cannot get a good angle to screen X5. X5 steps toward O2's screen while maintaining vision, position, and hand contact with O5.


3. O4, on the free-throw line, sets a pin-down screen on O2's defender as O5 is moving across the lane. O2 uses O4's screen to flash to the middle of the free-throw circle, looking for a catch-and-shoot. O4 posts up on the right-side block. Defensively, the big issue comes into play with O4's screen on X2. X4 must bump O4 and slow up the screen, pin-down screen (figure 8.7). It may also cause O2 to commit a three- second violation.

4. O3 has three basic options. The first look is to O5 posting up, the second choice is to O2 at the free-throw line, and the third alternative is to reverse the ball to O1 by passing or dribbling.

Defending this set is difficult if the offensive team sets good screens. What is required is a coordinated defensive effort with a lot of talking, bumping, denying, and possibly switching on the last screen to prevent an easy basket.

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31 Oct 2017

By Human Kinetics
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