Ball Screen Defense – “Squeeze” Coverage by Wes Kosel
Building on the post from earlier in the week on “Thru” ball screen coverage, this defensive call is a slight variation to thru. This coverage still stays in the same idea of the ball handler’s defender going under the screen instead of over the top. This would typically be done if the guard isn’t a shooter. Ball screen defense has to be practiced to work since it takes teamwork and communication from the two defenders involved in the screening action as well as the help-side defenders being there to absorb rolls, slips, etc. The player guarding the ball is very important on ball screen coverage, but it is even more important for the screener’s defender to be vocal and to loudly call out what type of coverage he wants. In the diagram, x5 can see the ball screen coming and has to be the one to call it out, not x1 who is focused on guarding the ball.
Ball Screen Defense
Squeeze would be used in a couple of different scenarios. First, the screener is a dangerous pop man or roll man and needs to be guarded closely by x5. The squeeze action occurs with x5 pusing up against the screener allowing x1 to go underneath both 5 and x5 to recover to the ball. x5 prevents 5 from popping out or rolling since he is pushing up against him with his chest. The second scenario to use squeeze is if there isn’t any help on the weak side to help against 5’s pop or roll. If the offense overloads the left side, there wouldn’t be any there to help on the pop by 5 to the right wing.
Click on the pdf link below to download the Ball Screen Defense Diagrams: