The screen and roll, or pick and roll, is one of the most effective offensive weapons in the game of basketball. There are three parts to a good screen that the screener and the person being screened must use. The first part is the screen itself; it must be a solid screen on the actual defender. The second is the person being screened must set up the defense by going away from the screener and then running the defender into the screen. The final part is coming off shoulder to shoulder with the screener. The screen is best used at the highest level of basketball, the NBA. Players in the NBA set good, hard screens on the defenders, and the ball handler does a good job setting the defense up and, using the screen effectively, and when I say effectively I am referring how he comes off the screen shoulder to shoulder. Here is an example of Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire using the pick and roll to near perfection. Take note on how Steve Nash sets the screen up with a hesitation move and then comes of Amare’s shoulder when he sets a solid screen on the defender. That is how the pick and roll is done. This might be the most important part of the screen, if the ball handler does not come off the screen shoulder to shoulder, then that leaves room for the defense to slide through and stay with the ball handler, but if the ball handler comes off the screeners’ shoulder then the defense either has to trail the ball handler or go underneath the screen, which gives room for the ball handler to shoot or pass.
This is almost a lost art at the high school level. Now I am not saying that high school players do not set screens, I am saying that I do not see players set screens effectively. Many times high school players set a screen on an area rather than a defender. You have to head hunt the defender and set a good, hard screen instead of just empty space. By good, hard screen I do not mean an illegal or dirty screen, I mean a solid screen that your teammate can use. A good screen is hard for the defense to guard, and there are multiple options that come from setting an effective screen. The screener can pick and roll for a layup, or he or she can pick and pop for a jump shot. You can even slip the screen, that is where the screener appears to come set the screen and then slips to the basket hopefully for an open layup. These are just a few variations and options that basic fundamentals of setting a screen can provide.