For the past two years Muly Katzurin, who is the head coach of the Senior National team, has also been in charge of the all the Youth Men’s National teams of Israel. The next season he will coach Slask Wroclaw, the Polish Division I team.
A basic offensive set is created by putting together two and three-man plays. Just as you need to learn the letters of the alphabet before being able to read, players first must learn and practice all the necessary offensive skills. These include moving without the ball (which is now a lost art, as evidenced after watching many NBA games), passing, dribbling, and shooting. In addition, players must be able to read the various defensive situations and react to the moves of the defense.
In this article we will talk on the three-man plays. As part of their offense, every team has a pick-and-roll play, which is currently the most-used offensive weapon in the NBA. The best practitioners of this play were the All-Star tandem of John Stockton and Karl Malone, the former point guard and power forward of the Utah Jazz, who will play next season with the Los Angeles Lakers. They worked this offensive move to near perfection after more than a decade of playing together in Utah.
The pick-and-roll usually involves a small and big player, but it can also be performed by two guards or two forwards. Let’s examine the different types of pick-and-roll situations.
1 passes to 2 and 1 receives a back screen from 5 (diagr. 1). 1 cuts in the lane and goes to the weakside of the court.
5 comes out of the corner of the free-throw lane and makes a lateral screen on 2.2 dribbles off the screen and pass to 5, who rolls to the basket after the screen (diagr. 2).
Another option is to have 1, who comes back after the cut, make a back screen (screen the screener) on 5. 5 then receives the ball from 2 (diagr. 3).
Here’s yet another option after the screen for 1: 5 makes the lateral screen and, instead of rolling to the basket, pops out and receives the ball for a jump shot (diagr. 4).
LOW POST PICK-AND-ROLL
Let’s now review the action with the center in the low post position. 1 passes to 2, receives a back screen from 5 and cuts to the basket, going to the weak side (diagr. 5).
After the screen for 1, 5 screens on the ball for 2, then rolls to the basket and receives the ball from 2 (diagr. 6).
4 and 5 are in the low-post position. 5 comes up high in the middle of the court and sets a screen for 1, who, before receiving the screen, dribbles away from the screen, then comes back and receives the screen (diagr. 7).
5, after the screen, rolls to the basket, while 4 simultaneously comes up outside of the lane (diagr. 8).
1 passes to 4 and 4 passes to 5 in the lane (diagr. 9). This pass from the high to the low post is very difficult for the defense to stop.
SCREEN THE SCREENER
1 passes to 2, 3 comes out of the lane and sets a screen for 1. 1 can cut or post up in the low post area and receive the ball from 2 (diagr. 10).
Another option is to have 1 come up and set a back screen for 3. 3 cuts and receives the ball from 2 (diagr. 11).
Another option is a screen from 3 for 2, who comes up and receives the ball from 1. 1 can also pass to 3, who goes in the low post position after the screen (diagr. 12).
SCREEN AND SKIP PASS
1 dribbles toward 2. 3 comes out of the lane and screens for 2. 2 cuts diagonally and goes to the opposite side of the court (diagr. 13).
1 makes a skip pass to 2, from one side of the court to the other (diagr. 14).
With the ball on the wing in the hands of 1, 2, comes from the low post and makes a diagonal screen for 3, who goes in the low-post position.
After the pick, 2 goes to the high-post position (diagr. 15).
1 can pass the ball to 3 in the low post, or to 2, who can then pass to 3, who has cut in the lane (diagr. 16).
CUT TO THE WEAK SIDE AND BASELINE SCREEN
1 passes to 2 and 2 to 3, who is in the low-post area.
After the pass, 2 cuts near 3 for a return pass and, if he doesn’t get a pass, goes to low post on the weak side of the court (diagr. 17).
3 passes back the ball to 1, who dribbles towards the other side of the court. At the same time, 2 makes a baseline pick for 3, who can now receive a pass from 1 (diagr. 18).
X CUTS AND SCREEN
3 is in the free-throw lane, while 1 and 2 are in the guard positions. 1 passes the ball to 3, cuts to his right and makes a screen for 2, who cuts to his left. Both cutters go on to the low-post position (diagr. 19).
3 passes to 1. 2 fakes to cut near the baseline, receives a vertical screen from 3, and comes up high (diagr. 20).
1 can either pass to 2 at the free-throw lane, or to 3, who is near the basket (diagr. 21).
BASELINE PICK AND CURL
2 and 3 are in the low-post positions. 2 cuts in the lane and receives a pick from 3. 1 passes to 3 (diagr. 22).
If the defensive player follows 2 outside, 2 can curl around 3, cut back in the lane, and receive a pass from 1 (diagr. 23).
2 is in the low-post position on the ball side. 1, with the ball in the wing position, receives a screen from 3 and dribbles to the middle. Immediately after the screen, 3 screens 2, who pops out. After the screen, 3 goes in the low-post area (diagr. 24).
1 can pass to 2 for the shot. If 2 cannot shoot, or if he sees that 3 is free or in a better scoring position, he can pass him the ball (diagr. 25).