Learning the fundamentals of a screen play is an important skill to improve your offensive game. Screen plays can be used in different ways: to free your teammate from his defender by providing your body as a wall, to allow a few seconds of free time to make a shot off the screen, to free yourself so that you can give a pass to another player, or to switch defenders to gain a height advantage.
There are 2 important elements in executing a good screen play: the one setting the screen which is usually the bigger player and the one receiving the screen who is usually the point guard or the off guard. Both should move in right timing.
First, the player who sets the screen should assume a stance by standing in the position where the width of his body can be utilized the most. The feet should be shoulder-width apart while the hands are tucked with the body to avoid committing an illegal pick. The receiver of the screen at this point is setting up his defender parallel to the direction of the intended cut.
Then, the setter of the screen should establish a position and hold a proper angle and wait for his teammate to make a cut. The other player will then drive the defender towards the screen.
It is important to make sure that the play is timed perfectly. Too early would mean that the player giving the screen hasn’t yet established his position. He would be called for an illegal screen and will result to turning the ball over to the opponent. Too late and the defender could react on the screen and the play would be useless.
Once the cut has been made, both the setter and the receiver will be open and a switch will be likely to happen. Both players must react quickly and make a play from this situation. As was mentioned, the screen can be used to gain height advantage over the defender, make a shot from the time the cutter is free, and give off the ball easily to another teammate.
Here are the different types of screens:
1. Back Screen
2. Ball Screen
3. Cross Screen
4. Down Screen
Here are the different types of cuts
1. Fade Cut
2. Back Cut
3. Wing Cut
4. Curl Cut
When used properly, the screen play will make a good offensive play and will likely be one of your offensive strengths as a team.