One of the greatest luxuries as a coach is to have a player who is great at making decisions out of the pick and roll. However, eventually teams will start to put two and two together, clogging up the lane and making it difficult for the ballhandler to get into the lane and do what they do best.
A great example of a team and player who have to deal with this sort of thing night and night out, is the Los Angeles Clippers and Chris Paul. They use what is called a ‘Twist’ play – an action designed to get your primary ball handler to go through two ball screens in quick succession – whether with two players or just one player pivoting back and forth.
Set up in the half court with both of your wing players on the right side of the court, and the bigs in a horns up set – at the intersection of the lane line extended and the three point line. Have the four man on the left side set a ballscreen, and the ball handler use it.
Now we’re not looking for penetration into the paint here – this is a decoy screen. The five man is now going to run across the key to the ball handler and set a ballscreen too, as the four man rolls over top of him heading towards the hoop.
The ball handler will now come off of this screen aggressively, looking to get into the paint and either get right to the rim or hit one of either of the two rollmen.
It’s important for the wings to lift, sliding up closer to the center of the court and away from the baseline, to give your ballhandler and easier passing lane to threat the ball through if the defense collapses entirely on the paint.
I was able to find a Youtube clip of this exact play from a recent Clippers game – check it out! And if you’re looking for ways to shut down the pick and roll, checking out these awesome basketball drills should be next on your to do list!