Sean Miller: Ball Screen Defense within the Pack Line
Develop a consistent defensive approach to conquering ball screens!
- Create a "Funnel" on the court to simplify team ball screen defense to limit defensive errors and open shots
- Teach multiple pick and roll strategies in a progression of defensive drills to build a dominating pick & roll defense
- Learn a defensive closeout drill that improves individual defensive concepts
with Sean Miller,
University of Arizona Head Coach;
2017 Pac-12 Coach of the Year - 3x Pac-12 Coach of the Year;
2017 Pac-12 Tournament and Regular Season Champions - led Arizona to six conference titles overall;
former Head Coach at Xavier, 3x A-10 champions; 2008 A-10 Coach of the Year
Teams at all levels are incorporating ball screens into their offense. Ball screens have become the go-to action to break down defenses and force them to scramble to help on all scoring options. In this video, Sean Miller shows you how to establish a simple defensive system that can effectively shut down any type of ball screen you'll face.
Building a defensive system should always start from the ground up, and Miller uses on court demonstration to show it. Starting with closeouts and building into help defense and defending ball screens are important in any defensive scheme you run. Using a series of breakdown drills that can be modified to many different situations, Coach Miller demonstrates the teaching points and techniques he uses with his own teams to build ball screen defense.
Through three variations of the Vegas Closeouts drill, your players will learn how to be "tough on the ball," which is the foundation for a good man to man defense. You'll learn how to increase your pressure on the ball and handle fakes without giving up an advantage. Additionally, two drill variations are demonstrated that will teach players how to stunt and recover against dribble penetration and their responsibilities on post feeds.
Side Ball Screens
On sideline ball screens, Coach Miller uses what they call a "jump" technique to stop the ball handler. Similar to a hard hedge, this technique is a great way to obstruct the ball handler from turning the corner while also allowing the on ball defender to easily go over the top of the screen while keeping the other defender from fouling.
You'll also learn how to use the "jump" tactic with your screen defender to aggressively disrupt the pick & roll. Other concepts such as how to increase your pressure on the dribbler with a semi-trap and loading the floor with help side defenders are also explained. You'll learn how to communicate ball screen coverages in even the loudest game environments.
Middle Ball Screens
Against ball screens occurring in the middle of the floor, several defensive concepts are used based on the personnel and situation involved. The "plug" technique allows the defender guarding the screener to help take away the ball handler's ability to shoot the 3-pointer while still being able to recover to the rolling screener. Miller also tells you how he adjusts to defending screeners that are a threat to pick & pop.
You'll learn how you can apply the "jump" defense to these types of screens in addition to using the "weak" strategy for forcing the dribbler toward your help against flat ball screens.
The successful implementation of any defensive system is going to be dependent on the quality of the drills you use to reinforce these concepts. Miller has three drills demonstrated that he uses to teach his teams to defend multiple ball screen situations in one possession.
- 2-on-2 Ball Screen Defense Drill - Teaches the on-ball and screener's defenders to defend sideline, middle, and step-up ball screens.
- 3-on-3 Ball Screen Defense Drill - Teaches defenders how to help on middle ball screen situations with a roll and replace, as well as a sideline pick & pop using an X technique.
- Van Gundy Ball Screen Drill - Incorporates 5-on-5 situations to teach teams how to defend multiple ball screens in one possession with an open or closed corner, and how to help the helper.
During all these drills, Miller emphasizes being tough on the ball and in good defensive positioning.
This video gives you everything you need to teach your team how to defend any ball screen situation. You'll learn technique, rotations, and an aggressive strategy that will help your team build a dominating defense.