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View Full Version : Discussion of fundamentals, Part 2: Cutting off screens



thunderbird1245
09-20-2006, 02:19 PM
As promised, a follow up on my last posted thread on the fundamentals of setting screens. This time, I want to discuss the fundamentals of cutting off a screen, both with the ball and away from it, and talk about why we are weak in this fundamental and what we can do to fix it.

First, lets discuss coming off a ball screen as the ballhandler. The key to this is patience and technique. Patience, because you have to let the screener come up to get in position....you can't take off or give up on the screen to quickly. Technique wise, you need to be able to occupy your defender and make him guard you before the screen happens, so he can't prepare for it as easily....you need to be able to crossover and get past him away in the direction away from the screen if he cheats defensively.

After that, and this is a fundamental the Pacers ballhandlers struggle with, you need to come off the screen right at his outside shoulder, so there is no space for the defender to slide thru over the top of the screen. You also need to keep your dribble quick and low thru this move to explode thru it, so your screener can really pop the guy and then get into either his "roll", to his "fade" or to "rescreen" somewhere else.....in other words, you've got to turn the corner sharply, and not go too wide. It also really really helps to have the ability to make a behind the back pass, which few do anymore, to a screener popping back for a shot.....if you dont have that pass you normally have to turn your body to pass the ball back like that, and that can let the defense recover.

Alright, coming off a ballscreen is fairly straightforward, and most of you probably know that fundamental. But now, lets talk about how to cut off a screen AWAY from the ball, and to be an effective cutter. Here should be the "commandments" of being a great cutter:

1. Cutters should be FACING THE LANE, and not the basketball. In other words, you should not be facing the half court line, but instead be facing the opposite sideline, or lane line, or however you want to picture it.

2. Cutters should be WATCHING THEIR MAN, and not the basketball. It is the ballhandlers responsibility and job to find you if you are open....your job is to get open to start with....dont watch the ball, watch how the defense is playing you.

3. Cutters should set their man up before the screen comes using the principle of "If he plays you high take him higher, if he is low take him lower"....in other words, if the defense is playing you a certain way, use that against him by making him react to your move that can put him even further out of position.

4. Cutters should FAKE before every cut, as the screener is on his way. This is so your defender can't easily see the screen coming (he is forced to watch you by your fake).

5. OKAY>>>>>NOW WE HAVE A COACHING PHILOSOPHY DISPUTE>>>>>>
Step 5 is either A. Cutters should begin their cut and watch their DEFENDER, and cut to where he isnt....

Or B. Cutters should watch the SCREENER, and shift their cut to how the screener reacts to the direction the defender is going.

I am a believer in choice A by the way.

6. Cutter should cut low to the ground, in a good stance, and cut "shoulder to waist". I know the prevailing wisdom is to say cut "shoulder to shoulder" but that usually ends up in your cutter standing up too soon theu the cut, catching the ball without good knee flex, and being too slow to make a move after recieving the pass. At the higher levels of game, its all about athleticism and technique, and coming thru the screen and cutting low and in balance makes you quicker and better able to make a move or shoot after the catch.

7. Cutters should cut with a TARGET HAND out to show the passer which way they are cutting and where they'd like the pass to be. The passer should be taught to not make a pass to a cutter without a target hand out...that is the key that the ballhandler uses to know whether to make the pass to a cutter or not in most cases. Its at this stage where its alright for the cutter to look for the ball.

8. Cutters have to be able to "read" their defender (or screener if you are in that school of thought). Cutters have 3 choices : Make a "straight cut" which is what you use to go in a straight line toward the ball or a point on the floor, and is normally used when the defender runs right into the screen and totally is nailed by it. Its creates the shortest and easiest pass for the ballhandler to make. Choice #2 is to make a "fade" cut, which you use when they defender goes over the top of the screen. In this case it creates a longer pass but often an easier one if your ballhandler can make it. Your screener turns his body and slides his feet to block off the cheating defender, the cutter fades to an open spot, gets a pass, and makes a wide open jumper....or fakes the jumper and drives to the bucket. Think how many times you've seen this from Reggie Miller....Choice#3 is to "curl", which is when the cutters defender goes underneath the screen to stop the fade cut....in this case, the cutter sees that, stops and reads, the screener pivots and shifts slightly, and the cutter curls around pinning the defender helplessly along the baseline, hopefully recieves a good pass from the ballhandler, and hits a very short shot.

In any of the choices, the key fundamentals are the same....just read the defense, follow your rules and how you've been taught, and make the appropriate basketball play.



Turning this in to a Pacers discussion.....obviously Reggie Miller was an outstanding cutter. I'd actually tell you that I think his ability to read screens was more important than his ability to shoot well. Other great "cutters" we've had were Chris Mullin and Jalen Rose, among others.

Last year, I was really struck by how really terrible we were at being cutters....until Peja joined us mid season, we didnt have a single player who I considered good in this area. Peja himself was a pretty good cutter but was slower thru the cut than I'd like. He did however provide a great sized target, and was a fine shooter after he caught the ball.

The two worst cutters we had in my view were Anthony Johnson and Stephen Jackson. Johnson, as a cutter, did almost every single thing wrong. Like all the Pacers now almost he always stared at the ball and not his defender, therefore he often had no clue which wouldve been the proper way to cut to get away from his man. Often, when he was paired with Sarunas, we'd try and use AJ as a cutter and it rarely worked to get us a good shot. Often AJ wouldve beenopen easily had he cut correctly, but he seemed to prefer the "straight cut", and would often run directly INTO his defender instead of away from him. He also hardly ever showed a target, leaving the passer to guess where and when to throw him the ball.

This would personify itself when Sarunas and AJ were in together. Sarunas would often be asked to pass the ball to a potentially cutting AJ, Sarunas would often have the ball in the air before AJ would show a target because he read which way AJ was going to cut. AJ would come off the screen and get nailed by a pass, and because he almost always cut incorrectly, the screen would be unsuccessful too, leaving AJ off balance with the ball and being guarded. Now, because with the ball AJ was pretty good, he sometimes made it work anyway, but it was plays like this that made our offense look discombobulated.

Jackson is also an incredibly poor technique cutter. Thats a shame because he has every bit the natural athletic ability and skill to be MUCH better than he is at this. Jackson has almost no patience to wait on a screen, almost never fakes before coming off it, and because he gawks at the ballhandler and not his man he has no clue where the best way to cut is. He is really bad at rubbing his man of a screen too, and often cuts way way too wide, letting his man easily get thru the screen.

Some of these Jackson "isolations" we are all tired of don't intend to become that, but because he is so bad at coming off a screen they often end up that way....its a really bad fundamental problem that you'd think could be fixed easier than it really can. I've found that thru my coaching experience that for some reason some players can read a screen, and some just can't....and I don't really know why that is. I'd love to be able to personally work with Jackson to see why he is such a bad cutter. Maybe he doesnt want to learn, maybe he just doesnt have the "knack", maybe he hasnt been taught well, maybe he is better than I think he is and Im wrong about all of this....Id love to know the true answer.

Fred Jones sucked as a cutter too. We tried to use him off screens at times, and while he had good athletic ability and the ability to be a scorer, he too was a very poor cutter. He seemed to be a bit better as a cutter than Jackson and Johnson, but not much. Again, he really struggled with the simple concept of waiting to let the screen develop, and then reading his defender. He took off too soon alot, and didnt like to "fade" off a cut, which I think teams scouted and therefore played him off a screen to try and force him to do that in order to be open.

RC in my view adjusted fairly well to this motley crew of cutters. Later in the year he used only Peja in any plays that required a decision on how to cut and read the defense. He came up with more plays where the cut was "defined" for both the cutter and the passer, and reading the defense wasnt important.....we ran alot of simpler "A.B.C" type plays (you cut to this spot, then cut here, etc etc) where decision making wasnt part of it. We ran alot of isolations and post ups for Jackson, so cutting off a screen for him wasnt necessary. And we slowed the pace of the game down so some of these issues wouldnt be so obvious, and kept us in most games and got us to the playoffs.

I would assume that by scouting, the Pacers identified players they wanted to obtain who were better cutters and screeners, and set out to rid themselves if they could of guys who struggled in that area. I would assume (but can't say for myself yet) that Daniels and Harrington are viewed as excellent cutters and readers of screens in addition to being good players. And I would assume the same for Maceo Bastin, James White, and even Shawne Williams. Time will tell whether they seem to have that innate ability to be a good cutter or not. Maybe they see some of this skill in Rawle Marshall even...I can't tell you because I havent seen any of them play enough yet.

I will say this....RC and his staff hasnt shown the ability to really "coach up" our players in this area and make them better overall basketball players with higher bball IQ's. He has shown the ability to adjust to what he has....but developing players skills in this area doesnt seem to be his strength.

I would assume that any new "offensive Philosophy" we try and play with (if any) will involve more freedom, more motion offense, and more situations where the players on the floor have to be able to read a screen correctly and cut in the proper effective way. If they prove they can't, then RC will have to control them more and make the game simpler for his players offensively.

Again, comments welcome and thanks for reading my analysis of "how to be a good cutter of a screen".

JMO

Since86
09-20-2006, 02:42 PM
Alright, coming off a ballscreen is fairly straightforward, and most of you probably know that fundamental. But now, lets talk about how to cut off a screen AWAY from the ball, and to be an effective cutter. Here should be the "commandments" of being a great cutter:

1. Cutters should be FACING THE LANE, and not the basketball. In other words, you should not be facing the half court line, but instead be facing the opposite sideline, or lane line, or however you want to picture it.

:confused: If I'm cutting from a down screen, up to the wing, I would need to be facing the halfcourt line, because that's the direction I'm going. The only time you should be facing the center of the court, is if it's a horizontal cut from the wing to the middle.


2. Cutters should be WATCHING THEIR MAN, and not the basketball. It is the ballhandlers responsibility and job to find you if you are open....your job is to get open to start with....dont watch the ball, watch how the defense is playing you.

If you're watching your man, you'd be looking behind you. You should watch the ball, because if you aren't you're gonna get smacked in the face.

I don't know how many times I've heard, "SEE THE BALL," at practices. Cutting and not looking for the ball is ineffective, and can lead to broken noses, or other embarassing injuries. Hell, I've been known to bounce it off the back of some of my teammates heads just to get the point across.

thunderbird1245
09-20-2006, 02:54 PM
:confused: If I'm cutting from a down screen, up to the wing, I would need to be facing the halfcourt line, because that's the direction I'm going. The only time you should be facing the center of the court, is if it's a horizontal cut from the wing to the middle.



If you're watching your man, you'd be looking behind you. You should watch the ball, because if you aren't you're gonna get smacked in the face.

I don't know how many times I've heard, "SEE THE BALL," at practices. Cutting and not looking for the ball is ineffective, and can lead to broken noses, or other embarassing injuries. Hell, I've been known to bounce it off the back of some of my teammates heads just to get the point across.


I don't know how to argue this, other than just to say that you are incorrect.

I think that what you said though is a good discussion point. If you are as you say cutting from a downscreen, your job is to read your defender, who is no doubt between YOU AND THE BASKET. The only way for you to see him is to be FACING THE LANE. Your statement implies that when you are cutting off a downscreen that you always go to the wing....if that is where you are going to go no matter how the defense plays you then thats alright i guess, but that type of cutting is what I meant when I described the cutting styles of Fred Jones and "A.B.C." type plays.

Now, after you've read the defense, decided where to cut and which cut to use, you clear your screener's shoulder and put a target hand out. Thats when you look for the ball, not before.

If we were on a gym floor together I could probably show this fundamental, why its important, and have you convinced pretty easily. And no, you won't get hit in the face with a ball and break your nose, I promise!

Since86
09-20-2006, 03:18 PM
I don't know how to argue this, other than just to say that you are incorrect.

I think that what you said though is a good discussion point. If you are as you say cutting from a downscreen, your job is to read your defender, who is no doubt between YOU AND THE BASKET. The only way for you to see him is to be FACING THE LANE. Your statement implies that when you are cutting off a downscreen that you always go to the wing....if that is where you are going to go no matter how the defense plays you then thats alright i guess, but that type of cutting is what I meant when I described the cutting styles of Fred Jones and "A.B.C." type plays.

Now, after you've read the defense, decided where to cut and which cut to use, you clear your screener's shoulder and put a target hand out. Thats when you look for the ball, not before.

If we were on a gym floor together I could probably show this fundamental, why its important, and have you convinced pretty easily. And no, you won't get hit in the face with a ball and break your nose, I promise!

Semantics might be getting in the way. When I think of cutting off a screen, I'm thinking the whole process of seeing the screen coming, setting up your man, going through the screen, and finishin the cut.

My remarks are mostly after the screen has been set, and you're coming off, but I still say you have to maintain eye contact with the dribbler because of the options.

Cutters don't "see" their defender. They feel them. Reggie is going to be the best example of this, so I'll stick with him throughout.

When Reggie was setting up his man, he made phsyical contact with him. Most of the time it was by engaging his arms. That allowed him to see the ball, and know exactly where his defender was, and also allowed him to phsyically move the defender into the screen.

As you're making the cut, to the screen, you feel where your man is so you know what type of cut you want to do after the screen has been set. If you feel you man following you, you curl. You feel your man go over the top, you fade. Or you simply have the option of running to the spot where you're supposed to go.

If my eyes are squarely on my defender, I can't make eye contact with the dribbler/passer to let him know where I'm going. As a PG, I'm watching your head, because where you go, your eyes/head go first. So if I see you turn your head to the inside, I assume you're curling and throw the ball appropriately.



I really can't say it any more clearer than this. A good cutter will feel his man, either phsyically or just have good awareness to where he is, and will maintain some type of eye contact. It HAS to happen for the cut to be effective, because the dribbler is one of the most imporant aspects of a good cut. If he isn't in the loop in what's going on, the cut is useless.

Sidenote: A nose can most certainly be broken from being hit by a ball. I've seen it atleast three times in games/practices.

thunderbird1245
09-20-2006, 03:41 PM
Well, this is turning out to be a good discussion. Let me try and address a few points to that last response so I can try and be as clear as possible.

1. Reggie DID use to turn and look at his defender, especially when the Pacers used to run the "3 down" (Larry Brown's name for the single/double screen). Reggie would run along the baseline to the side of the double screen, then TURN his head and feet to face his defender to see where he was and how he was going to react to the double screen, then turn and explode thru the screen, then as he was coming off the shoulder of the screen look for and call for the ball.

2. The passer has to look, if its true motion offense, at both sides of the floor. He doesnt need to be "in on it" so to speak, he has to be taught to read both sides of the floor, make a decision, and read the situation and make the pass. Its quite acceptable and expected that sometimes you as a cutter will make a great cut, be open, and not get the ball because the passer went the other way with his pass or dribble, or missed you. Its all part of motion offense played this way...if it happens you just keep moving and playing....your job is to play the right way and make the right basketball decision....if you dont get the pass then so be it, keep playing.

3. By your descriptions Im assuming since86 is either playing on a team today or has played on one recently. Let me just tell you that as a coach, if you are a player who stares at the ball when recieving a downscreen, that you are making yourself much easier to guard. When I break down film, I look for players who do that to help plan my overall defensive gameplan on how I want our defense to react to your cuts. I guarantee if you are playing that way you are making yourself much easier to guard than you might know....trust me.

4. Now, I do agree that on some level, you do have to "feel" your defender or have a sixth sense of where he is....but only the truly great can often do this, and even then its something that comes from being taught well and having the fundamentals down cold.

5. Remember, its the passers job to also read the situation and where you are cutting....you needn't to have "eye contact" per se, if you follow the fundamental of showing a target for the passer at the proper time, and if he is also reading the screen/cut situation in the same correct way that you are.....I promise by the time you show a target, you've begun to clear space for yourself and the ball can be delivered to you on time, accurately and in rhythm.

6. Yes, I know a ball can break someone's nose.....but how I teach the game, thats just as much the passer's fault as the reciever's if the reciever didnt show a target before the pass was made, at least in the majority of cases.

Isaac
09-20-2006, 03:53 PM
ThunderBird is right. Its like running a football route for a wide reciever.

Plus, you are more likely to break your nose by running into a defender you didn't see because you were watching the man with the ball.

Since86
09-20-2006, 04:11 PM
ThunderBird is right. Its like running a football route for a wide reciever.

Plus, you are more likely to break your nose by running into a defender you didn't see because you were watching the man with the ball.

Cutting off a screen is nothing like running a football route. A backdoor might be, but in football you don't depend on a screener, or something stationary, to help get you open.

And both of you, I think, are missing what I'm saying with looking at the ball. You don't fixate your eyes on it, and continously stare at it. It's eye contact. You look for the ball as your coming off the screen, make eye contact with the passer, then make the cut. If the passer has no clue what you're doing, he can't get you the ball. It's a split second thing, not several seconds.

Saying you'd run into your defender is kind of funny, because it's so far off from what I'm saying.
1. You know exactly where he is whether or not you see him.
2. When making your cut, he's either going to be on the side of you, or behind you.
3. You look where your cutting to.
4. There's a big problem with technique if your defender remains infront of you, after the screen has been set.

thunderbird1245
09-20-2006, 04:34 PM
Cutting off a screen is nothing like running a football route. A backdoor might be, but in football you don't depend on a screener, or something stationary, to help get you open.

And both of you, I think, are missing what I'm saying with looking at the ball. You don't fixate your eyes on it, and continously stare at it. It's eye contact. You look for the ball as your coming off the screen, make eye contact with the passer, then make the cut. If the passer has no clue what you're doing, he can't get you the ball. It's a split second thing, not several seconds.

Saying you'd run into your defender is kind of funny, because it's so far off from what I'm saying.
1. You know exactly where he is whether or not you see him.
2. When making your cut, he's either going to be on the side of you, or behind you.
3. You look where your cutting to.
4. There's a big problem with technique if your defender remains infront of you, after the screen has been set.


Maybe it is semantics, but I think what Im saying and what we are disagreeing on is the ORDER of what should happen. Here is what the proper sequence of events is for a cutter, in my opinion:

1. Cutter faces the lane and looks at his man.
2. Cutter fakes his man to set up the screen.
3. Cutter recieves the screen.
4. Cutter, still facing the lane and his man, notices which way his man is trying to fight thru the screen and uses the appropriate cut, in the appropriate direction away from the defender, to get open.
5. Cutter executes cut with correct fundamentals and on balance, THEN AND ONLY THEN looks toward the passer with a target out as he clears the screeners body.

There is no split second glance at the passer to say "hey ballhandler, Im going to cut now and flare to the corner, watch for me" or something similar, in my view and how I was taught and teach the game myself.

I repeat, it is the ballhandlers/passers job to "take the ball to the action" and to where he sees things best developing for the offense as a whole. If that is what you are referring to as a cutter, i.e. making some sort of subliminal eye contact with him to take it to your side...then I dont really think that is the correct way to play it in most cases. And I also repeat that it sounds like you have a common misconception of how to cut properly that too many players have, including some of the Pacers, of that you watch the ball and where you are cutting too much, and it doesnt enable you to read the screen as well as you could have, due to your poor positioning.

Since86, your picture in your avatar is a Shelbyville player, correct? Are you taught to stare where you are cutting and at the ball there? maybe you are, I dont know.....Im not sure how things are taught and what is emphasized in different areas by different coaches. My own high school coach didnt emphasize facing your man to read the screen either, it was only when I met Coach Knight and got to really studying the game while wanting to coach that he taught that to me and that I learned on my own how important it is, at least in my view. And I freely admit that its not a natural instinct for a player to look at his own defender and not the ball....thats why its hard to do and not taught as well as it should be.

Someday, I almost wish Hicks or somebody would rent out some space for a Pacers digest coaches clinic, so we could go over some of these topics and discussion on a gym floor for those who could attend. I might even drive to Indy to help with that project sometime this fall or winter. I'd love the chance to go over why some of these things are important, some of the Pacers pet plays, maybe some schemes or plays our opponents like to run, or whatever those in attendance wanted to talk about or ask.

Since86
09-20-2006, 04:56 PM
Maybe it is semantics, but I think what Im saying and what we are disagreeing on is the ORDER of what should happen. Here is what the proper sequence of events is for a cutter, in my opinion:

1. Cutter faces the lane and looks at his man.
2. Cutter fakes his man to set up the screen.
3. Cutter recieves the screen.
4. Cutter, still facing the lane and his man, notices which way his man is trying to fight thru the screen and uses the appropriate cut, in the appropriate direction away from the defender, to get open.
5. Cutter executes cut with correct fundamentals and on balance, THEN AND ONLY THEN looks toward the passer with a target out as he clears the screeners body.

When you say "cutter recieves the screen," you mean that the defender and the picker have had phsyical contact, correct?

There's no possible way you look for/at your defender. If you come off the screen turn and look, one, you're giving the defender time to catch up, and two, your fade is going to be out of line or your curl isn't going to be tight.

The decision on what route you're going to take is made before you make it to the screen, not during, not after. You know how your man is going to take the screen, by his body positioning.






There is no split second glance at the passer to say "hey ballhandler, Im going to cut now and flare to the corner, watch for me" or something similar, in my view and how I was taught and teach the game myself.

I don't know how you're saying there's no time to glance at the passer, when you're advocating actually turning to look the route the defender is taking. A glance of the eyes forward is much quicker to do than turning your head to look behind you.



I repeat, it is the ballhandlers/passers job to "take the ball to the action" and to where he sees things best developing for the offense as a whole. If that is what you are referring to as a cutter, i.e. making some sort of subliminal eye contact with him to take it to your side...then I dont really think that is the correct way to play it in most cases. And I also repeat that it sounds like you have a common misconception of how to cut properly that too many players have, including some of the Pacers, of that you watch the ball and where you are cutting too much, and it doesnt enable you to read the screen as well as you could have, due to your poor positioning.

The job of the ballhandler is to get the ball to the cutter in the correct position, where he can do something with it. If the passer has no clue where the cutter is going, he has to wait to see, and it wastes time. A pass isn't to a player, it's to a spot. If I see a player starting to curl, I throw it in front of him so he runs into it. If I see a player fading, I throw it farther out behind him, so has he backs up the ball hits him in the hands.

A screen/pass should be a bang-bang play. You can't sit back and wait for things to develop. Good players/teams know what's going to happen 3 steps in advance. A tight curl off a down screen isn't going to work if the passer doesn't know he's curling.




Since86, your picture in your avatar is a Shelbyville player, correct? Are you taught to stare where you are cutting and at the ball there? maybe you are, I dont know.....Im not sure how things are taught and what is emphasized in different areas by different coaches. My own high school coach didnt emphasize facing your man to read the screen either, it was only when I met Coach Knight and got to really studying the game while wanting to coach that he taught that to me and that I learned on my own how important it is, at least in my view. And I freely admit that its not a natural instinct for a player to look at his own defender and not the ball....thats why its hard to do and not taught as well as it should be.

No, that's me after sectional in '04. I went to Monroe Central, which is a 1A east of Muncie.

And no, you don't "stare." I've not once used the word "stare," in this entire discussion. While I haven't met Coach Knight, I am saying practically verbatium what I learned from Damon Bailey, and my high school coach who still runs the same motion offense from 15yrs ago when he first started coaching.

This is going to be a pointless discussion, because you will never, ever, convince me that you should look at your defender after the screen has been set. EVER. I've been to numerous shooting camps, and PG camps/colleges, and they've all taught the exact same thing, and it's never been to look at the defender.

thunderbird1245
09-20-2006, 05:10 PM
When you say "cutter recieves the screen," you mean that the defender and the picker have had phsyical contact, correct?

There's no possible way you look for/at your defender. If you come off the screen turn and look, one, you're giving the defender time to catch up, and two, your fade is going to be out of line or your curl isn't going to be tight.

The decision on what route you're going to take is made before you make it to the screen, not during, not after. You know how your man is going to take the screen, by his body positioning.







I don't know how you're saying there's no time to glance at the passer, when you're advocating actually turning to look the route the defender is taking. A glance of the eyes forward is much quicker to do than turning your head to look behind you.




The job of the ballhandler is to get the ball to the cutter in the correct position, where he can do something with it. If the passer has no clue where the cutter is going, he has to wait to see, and it wastes time. A pass isn't to a player, it's to a spot. If I see a player starting to curl, I throw it in front of him so he runs into it. If I see a player fading, I throw it farther out behind him, so has he backs up the ball hits him in the hands.

A screen/pass should be a bang-bang play. You can't sit back and wait for things to develop. Good players/teams know what's going to happen 3 steps in advance. A tight curl off a down screen isn't going to work if the passer doesn't know he's curling.





No, that's me after sectional in '04. I went to Monroe Central, which is a 1A east of Muncie.

And no, you don't "stare." I've not once used the word "stare," in this entire discussion. While I haven't met Coach Knight, I am saying practically verbatium what I learned from Damon Bailey, and my high school coach who still runs the same motion offense from 15yrs ago when he first started coaching.

This is going to be a pointless discussion, because you will never, ever, convince me that you should look at your defender after the screen has been set. EVER. I've been to numerous shooting camps, and PG camps/colleges, and they've all taught the exact same thing, and it's never been to look at the defender.


Well....since Damon and I wouldve learned the same stuff from the same people.....Im thinking that maybe we are closer to thinking alike that is coming across in this forum and way of explaining.

I think what Im trying to say that you look at your defender AS the screen is being set, to see how he initially attacks the screen and tries to defend you, then you just react off of him. Im not saying the screen happens, and then you stay stationary waiting to see what happens....it all flows together pretty quickly after all.

But, you still need to know which way your defender is going to go, and you need to be in a position such that you can see how he reacts to the screen so you can make the appropriate cut....thats all Im trying to say.
I just mean that you need to be able to see how the defender first reacts to the screen so you can know which cut to make...Im not saying make a cut and then stop and turn to look at the defense to see if it worked.....maybe I explained that unclearly I dont know.

However, your way of describing your process of cutting (i.e. making eye contact with the passer first) makes me want to ask this follow up question : If you are unable to do make this eye contact with the passer, do you believe you should still make the appropriate cut? Or do you believe that you should wait, reset whatever you are doing, and do something else until you can make that eye contact you believe is important?

This is a good discussion, and I hope others who read it will chime in with their thoughts and opinions too.

JMO

skyfire
09-20-2006, 09:46 PM
This is only somewhat related to this discussion, but I thought i'd post it here anyways since it doesn't really deserve its own thread.

In my bball game last night, there was a play where I set an on ball screen, slightly off a defender at the top of the key (they were playing a 2-1-2 zone). The purpose was to get our shooter a good look from the 45degree angle on the 3pt line. Our PG sent the pass over to him and the defender tried to rotate, looked up, saw me in the way, dropped his shoulder and purposely ran into me. He was abit smaller than me but fairly well built, so it was a solid hit and knocked me back several steps. Our shooter promptly knocked down the 3, but I was interested if this normally should be called a foul for deliberatley trying to floor the screener? As it is not normally the screener that comes off second best in this sort of conflict the ref ignored it. I had a brief complaint to the ref, which seemed to pay some dividends as this guy got called for a couple of offensive fouls later when he dropped his shoulder on a drive.

Its abit of a pointless question as we scored on the play anyways, but does setting a screen assume that you are going to wear a hit, no matter how aggressively the defender runs into it?

thunderbird1245
09-20-2006, 10:27 PM
This is only somewhat related to this discussion, but I thought i'd post it here anyways since it doesn't really deserve its own thread.

In my bball game last night, there was a play where I set an on ball screen, slightly off a defender at the top of the key (they were playing a 2-1-2 zone). The purpose was to get our shooter a good look from the 45degree angle on the 3pt line. Our PG sent the pass over to him and the defender tried to rotate, looked up, saw me in the way, dropped his shoulder and purposely ran into me. He was abit smaller than me but fairly well built, so it was a solid hit and knocked me back several steps. Our shooter promptly knocked down the 3, but I was interested if this normally should be called a foul for deliberatley trying to floor the screener? As it is not normally the screener that comes off second best in this sort of conflict the ref ignored it. I had a brief complaint to the ref, which seemed to pay some dividends as this guy got called for a couple of offensive fouls later when he dropped his shoulder on a drive.

Its abit of a pointless question as we scored on the play anyways, but does setting a screen assume that you are going to wear a hit, no matter how aggressively the defender runs into it?


Well, yes as a screener there is going to be some contact you have to endure, but if they play unfolded exactly as you described then yes, id say that was a foul on the other guy. The only exception being if you didnt give him room to turn, or if you didnt get fully set and stationary....the lowering of the shoulder would be the part that made it an obvious foul, in my opinion.

The official was probably watching the ball, and not the action away from it....thats pretty common Im afraid....but yes, being a screener can be a somewhat thankless task, but a necessary one.

Naptown_Seth
09-21-2006, 02:30 AM
You also need to keep your dribble quick and low thru this move to explode thru it, so your screener can really pop the guy and then get into either his "roll", to his "fade" or to "rescreen" somewhere else.....in other words, you've got to turn the corner sharply, and not go too wide. It also really really helps to have the ability to make a behind the back pass, which few do anymore, to a screener popping back for a shot.....if you dont have that pass you normally have to turn your body to pass the ball back like that, and that can let the defense recover.
This is where you need Tinsley, he has the low dribble AND the passing. SarJas has the passes but isn't the same ball handler of course. He does work his PnRs and such very sound in terms of spacing which helps a lot.

But last year AJ really struggled to make plays like this work, mostly because he lacked the variety of passes available to him.

Jack struggles because he carries his dribble too high, you just don't see him work the ball close to the floor very well. Fred was okay, but typically a bit high with his dribble and so weak going to his left that defenders could really cheat.

Daniels, possibly White, and even Greene could all be improvements in working these types of plays. I will say that if they want to have an uptempo offense then this is the number 1 area that needs to improve...well, 1B, as a healthy Tinsley and a Cabbages capable of protecting his dribble are the 1A priority.


The only strong "screen" type of play they ran last year was the baseline Give and Go. Well, the PnR between Harrison and SarJas was extremely reliable too.

thunderbird1245
09-21-2006, 01:30 PM
Is anyone else concerned but me about how our main scorers cut off screens? Who do you all think is our best cutter without the basketball on this team? Do we have anyone who you consider that to be a strength of on our team, and if not how would you counteract this weakness if you were RC and the Pacers coaching staff?

If you have poor cutters, its hard to design and execute good offense in the half court. That, along with an inability to feed the low post, are big concerns offensively for me as I look at our roster at this very moment.

JMO

D-BONE
09-23-2006, 08:23 AM
s anyone else concerned but me about how our main scorers cut off screens? Who do you all think is our best cutter without the basketball on this team? Do we have anyone who you consider that to be a strength of on our team, and if not how would you counteract this weakness if you were RC and the Pacers coaching staff?

If you have poor cutters, its hard to design and execute good offense in the half court. That, along with an inability to feed the low post, are big concerns offensively for me as I look at our roster at this very moment.

JMO

TB1245,

This is a great concern of mine. Now, I don't claim to be an expert on all aspects of the fundamentals. But my impression of our current and recent core players leads me to the conclusion that we have few, if any, all-around fundamentally sound players.

Perhaps in the NBA it's not necesary to have all five guys be highly fundamentally sound, but I suspect you need at least oen or two on the floor at any given time combined with others who are at least marginally competent in this area.

As is constantly pointed out, I don't see that we have any players that particularly stand out in areas such as ballhandling, shooting, cutting and off the ball movement, FT shooting, etc.. Arguably you can say well Tins has a good handle and Saras is a good passer, and so forth. But even those guys I think have significant weaknesses in other important areas.

In addition, we seem to have had recent groups that don't particularly play well as a unit. This I suspect due to a mismatch of fundamental skill, style of play, personalities, and expectations. Hopefully, a new season with (HOPEFULLY) less off-court drama and an infusion of new players will help in this area to some degree.