Ball Screen Defense – “Thru Coverage” by Wes Kosel
Ball Screen Defense – This article will look at one way to guard ball screens with a “thru” coverage. Ball screens can be guarded a variety of ways including going over the screen with hard hedges, shows, soft shows, no shows, switches, traps, and many more. The key to guarding ball screens effectively is to understand what you need to stop with the ball screen action. The offense is setting the ball screen to 1) create a scoring opportunity for the guard coming off of the ball screen, 2) forcing the big’s defender to help on the ball screen drive leaving the screener open for a score, or 3) forcing the help defense to help on the ball screen drive leaving another teammate open for a score. The goal on defense is to take away these options as efficiently as possible. Often times, defensive coverage may be determined by the strengths and weakness of the opponent, but also on the strengths and weakness of your defensive coverage. In this coverage, the guard goes under the screen going through the screener and his teammate stepping back. This coverage can be used if the screen is being set really far out or if the ballhandler isn’t a shooting threat.
Ball Screen Defense
For this coverage, the screener’s defender calls out “thru” letting the guard know that he needs to get underneath the screen. To reiterate, this probably would be used if the screen is set in an area so far out that a shot isn’t likely or if the ball handler isn’t a shooter. x5 has to step back to allow space for x1 to get under the screen and through 5 and x5.
Click on the pdf link below to download the Ball Screen Coverage Diagrams: