Hold the screen…

Have you ever been walking in to a building and someone holds the door for you and just before you can grab it they let it go? That’s what it’s like when a screener leaves before someone can actually use the screen.
These are the days of the early slip. Rolling before the offensive player has even gotten to the screen. You’re smart, you’re edgy, you’re tricky. You will not allow the defense to hedge the screen. How many times have we seen an early slip taking place when the screener’s defender is not even helping on the ball? When he’s playing flat under or ice defense it’s clear that the post player is not reading the defense he is just looking to slip as soon as possible.

It’s the same problem with off the ball screens. Guys refuse to hold a screen to take a good hit from the defender coming through and create space for teammates. We’re forever slipping to the basket before anyone else can create separation. Maybe we should tell guys to slip then they’ll screen?

When I’m playing pick up I am shocked at how long it takes some guys to get off of a screen. To make the point, challenge guys to hold their screen until the defender is completely off. Who knows, if the screener doesn’t sprint out of the way on first (or in some cases no) contact, the defenders may actually have to make a choice and a mistake.

Screening is a good test of your team’s selflessness and toughness. These days if you give a player a choice between being the primary or secondary receiver…you know where that’s going for most. Would you rather have neither of you guys get open or both of you?

Hold the screen please.

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