Beating the ICE Defense.
The pick and roll defense that is spreading around basketball like wildfire is “Icing.” It started in the NBA and Europe and has now made its way to college and high school basketball. ICE Defense is a side pick and roll defense in which the defense attempts to keep the ball on one side of the floor by forcing the ball sideline. Other terms that have been used are: “Push” or “Down” the screen. The whole concept of the “Ice” stems from a no-middle philosophy where the defense wants to keep the ball to one side and not allow the offense to utilize the pick and roll. The scheme has become a real disruptor and given many teams fits when trying to run their normal offense.
While teams in the NBA have come up with creative ways to counter the ICE Defense scheme, other levels of basketball are still struggling on how to properly attack it. You want to start with running offense harder and quicker. No matter what the defense is doing, it will have a tougher time employing coverages if the offense is operating at a high pace. It becomes more difficult to get in proper positioning, thus making it easier to attack.
In terms of offensive technical adjustments, one of the easiest ways to counter is to set the majority of the ball screens in the middle of the floor. If the defense is designed for wing pick and rolls and keeping the ball out of the middle, then set the screen in the middle forces the defense into a different coverage. However, the majority of offenses are designed and run utilizing the wing pick and roll. So what counters can they use without having to overhaul their offensive scheme?
Here are a few concepts to help your offense defeat the Ice Defense.