Basketball Pick and Roll Play

The basketball pick and roll play is a basketball move every player must learn and every coach must teach.

This basketball play is a major part of almost all offenses ever created and it’s vital you understand it’s fundamentals. The whole idea is to help offensive players get free from tough defenses. Once free, the offensive player should have a nice, open look at the basket.

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Basketball Pick and Roll Play

This is a basketball play that’s extremely effective against defensive players who are playing very close to the offensive players and can be utilized anywhere on the floor. The basketball pick and roll play involves two offensive players, one of which has possession of the ball. Any two of the five players on the floor can be involved in this basketball play.

The player dribbling heads over in the direction of their teammate. Many times, the defender guarding the dribbler won’t see this second teammate because they’re (the defender) concentrating on the ball.

The teammate without the ball will stop with the middle of their chest lined up opposite the shoulder of the defender as the dribbler continues toward them. To set up properly, make sure your arms are down at your side, your knees are bent slightly and your feet are parallel.

Now, the player dribbling drives by their teammate, getting as close as possible. This forces the defensive player to either run into the block or stop and go around the blocking teammate. This blocking action is called the “pick“.

Make sure the player setting the pick gives the defender at least one step before setting up.

Want to get wide open when using the basketball pick and roll? If you are the player setting the pick, as soon as the defensive player makes contact with you, spin on your foot farthest from the basket and move toward it. Your defender’s most likely response will be to switch over to your dribbling teammate. This action now leaves you wide open for a pass as you cut to the hoop. Cool, huh?

If your defender doesn’t switch over to the dribbler, your teammate can now drive to the basket or take an open jumper.

Either way this goes, the advantage to the offense is that the defender getting picked will have a hard time catching up to the dribbler because they’ve been delayed or completely stopped by the block.

The basketball pick and roll play can be used at any time, but is the most effective against man-to-man defenses. We’re sure you can guess why!

Additional Pick and Roll Tips

When you’re the one setting the pick, you can be called for a foul if you have your arms extended out from your body. You also can’t move during the pick.

What you do have to do is keep both feet planted with both your arms close to your body and remain set in that position until your teammate has gone by you.

When you’re the dribbler, it’s important to pass as closely as possible to your teammate setting the pick while keeping control of the ball. The pick won’t work if your defender isn’t run into your teammate.

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