Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Screening the Zone Defense

Screening the Zone
As you can tell from the plays that I've shared on , I am a huge proponent of the use of screens versus a zone defense. This concept may be foreign to you or against your own personal philosophy but I want to share with you the 3 reasons that I employ this strategy.

Teams that play man to man are looking at ways to eliminate their opponents’ offensive weapons. Most offensives versus a zone defense utilize ball movement and players flashing to voids left by the movement of the defense. By adding screens to these practices, you’ve cause confusion as to how to continue your defensive assignment while being screened in that area.

The purpose of a zone is to protect the basket by placing one player defending the ball and four defenders in position to help while protecting the basket. In other words, a really good zone looks like great man to man defense! (Later blog on that coming) By screening on the ball you immediately force the zone to react and rotate which typically leads to an open shot. By screening away from the ball, you allow a player to move into an area where the zone can’t rotate without over-extending itself. By using a screen you force the zone to decide what action to give up.

The biggest benefit that using screens versus a zone has done is create advantages for our offense. Think of it in terms of transition. We all love 2 on 1 or 3 on 1 situations; by screening the zone we cause 1 defender to guard 2. We force 2 defenders to guard 3 and lastly by choosing where the screen happens, we dictate which defender we attack. Some coaches use a zone to hide a player. Screens allow you to attack them either directly or indirectly. You can screen that player if he is a weak defender or you can screen away from him causing him to rotate correctly.

Continuity Offense.

Zone Set Series.

Zone Set Play

Zone Set Play

Zone Set Play

I hope this gives you a little insight on screening the zone. It is a strategy that we’ve had success with. That’s another 3 from the Corner…

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