How to Play Your Best Picks in Basketball

best pick - How to Play Your Best Picks in Basketball

In every basketball game, you would often come across the word screen or picks.

If you are not familiar with the term, screen is a type of blocking movement made by an offensive player to free a fellow teammate to receive a pass, to shoot or drive in to score. It is also known as a pick in the field of lacrosse and basketball.

Great basketball teams know the importance of setting a very good picks as it opens up their offense in so many ways.  How to use a pick is as equally important as how to set a pick, these two should come hand in hand for a better defense.

How to set a pick?

If you are the person that is setting the pick, you should:

  • Establish a wide and strong base by positioning your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Create an athletic solid position by bringing your hips down and bending your knees. It will be difficult for your defender to knock you off or nudge you if you are on this position.
  • Point your back to the direction where you want the receiver of the screen to go.
  • You need to be stationary as your setting the pick. It is considered as an illegal screen and an offensive foul if you are moving as you set your pick.
  • Protect yourself by placing your hand across your chest (girls) or groin area (boys). Make sure that your arms are extended towards the defensive player though.
  • Make sure that you signal the offensive player that you are about to set a pick. You can do this by raising your hand or calling out the offensive player’s name.
  • After the offensive player has run off your pick, pivot 180 degrees towards the ball and find an open space on the floor. In many instances, the person who ends up being open is the one who sets the pick.

What are some of the basic screens?

  • Ball screen – this is where the offensive player sets a pick for another offensive player who is currently holding the ball. You can only do the ball screen when the offensive player still has his dribble.

Ball screens can be really good offensive sets if they were executed well because the make the defense communicate and negotiate the ball screen to action.

  • Down screen – this type of screen is set in the direction of the baseline. The person who sets the pick goes down towards the pick receiver to set the screen. This is good to use if you want to create scoring opportunities for shooters.

For the illustration above, player 5 will do the down screen near the lane for player 2. Player 2 will then come off the screen and pop out to the right wing area. Player 1 will pass to player2 to take the open jump shot.

  • Away screen – this type is when a player sets the picks away from the ball. This occurs when a player runs away from the ball after he passed it to another player and set a pick for another offensive player.


Read more about Playing with your best picks in Bastketball

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