Eight Ways to Use the Ball Screen


I have never been able to figure out why more coaches do not use the ball screen more often in their offenses.  Simply put, teams and players, especially at the high school level, do not know how to defend the ball screen well.  Defending the ball screen is just not an aspect of defense is not worked on all that often.  So when it comes time to defend it in a game, these players really are not prepared to.  From and offensive perpspective this makes it easy to use the ball screen effectively and get good looks at the basket and in most cases easy scores.  Using the ball screen properly is an aspect of skill development that can be worked on like anything else.  The following are eight ways in which basketball players can use the ball screen effectively and get themselves or their teamates good shots throughout the course of the game. 
1. Turn the corner (the screener’s defender does not show) — Guard drives low and tight, get your shoulder as low as their hip.

2. Hesitate and go (soft hedge) – At level of screen, hesitate, eyes on rim. Key to make the hedge man relax then explode past him.

3. Split the hedge— use a quick change of direction move.

4. Fake the split then inside/out dribble to the paint.

5. Reject the screen (Guards man completely blocks the path of the driver, screener’s defender is at block area zoning up.

6. Shooting behind—The on ball defender goes behind the screen. Shot must come directly behind the screen.

7. Re-screen – when screener’s defender shows big, flat hedge. Drive over the screen, then crossover and use the screen again toward the baseline. Screener turns to the inside on second screen getting you closer to the basket.

8. Early slip—Guard’s defender jumps low (toward baseline), driver splits between his man and the screen. Counter is to fake the split.





The most under-utilized part of offensive ball screening. After clearing the screen low and tight, explode on the split. Dribble below the knees.

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