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Six Ways to Defend the Pick n’ Roll

 

*Note that Pick and Roll= PnR

 

Hedge and Follow- This is the most common form of PnR defense and is used regularly when guarding a good offensive player. The defender guarding the screener must move his feet well and quickly, right as the screen takes place. He must slide out and “hedge” (often called “showing”), moving the player with the ball at least one dribble away from his own hoop. He can then recover to his man, while the original on-ball defender is now be back in correct position again.

 

Hedge and Follow example-

 

Hug and Go Under- This PnR defense is used when the offensive player with the ball isn’t a great shooter. The defender guarding the screener “hugs” his man, allowing the on-ball defender to quickly go under both the screen and his own teammate.

 

Hug and Go Under Example- 

grizzlies_hedge

 

 

Trap- Trapping a PnR can be a great way to get an offense out of rhythm.   Both defensive players come together right after the screen takes place and trap the ball with their hands up and feet continually moving.

Trap example-

 

Switch- This is very basic, but can cause a problem if the defensive players don’t talk to one another. Both defensive players must open their mouths and talk loudly when switching the screen, so there is zero confusion.

Switch example-

 

Push- “Pushing” a pick n’ roll takes place on one side of the floor or the other (also known as ICE, down, or Icing the PnR). When you push a PnR, the on-ball defender makes sure the offensive player does NOT use the screen, while his teammate (the secondary defender) helps corral the dribbler.

 

Push example-

 

Mush– Popovich and the Spurs use this term to refer to defending the PnR when the ball is in the middle of the floor. A mush is just like a push (hence the name), wherein the on-ball defender pushes his man away from the screen, making sure he does NOT use it. Meanwhile the secondary defender helps “corral” the offensive player with the ball, until the on-ball defender can get back in correct defensive position in front of the ball handler.

Mush example- (it’s the *SECOND* PnR in this video)

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