As coaches, some of us have the luxury of a great ballhandler, who can break down his man and deal with full court pressure without getting flustered – and some of us don’t. And while you can drill your guys and help improve their ballhandling skills, it’s important to go over some other options to help your point guard get the ball in the halfcourt.
¾ Court Screen Drill
The most traditional, and some might say most effective, way of dealing with a pesky full court defender, is to send a big man up just above the 3-point line, and plant to set a screen. But there’s more to it than just that.
To make sure that the screener doesn’t pick up and illegal screen call and to make it tougher for the defender to avoid, the ballhandler needs to put them in a position to use the screen most effectively.
After receiving the inbounds pass, the ballhandler will dribble out to the sideline, about free throw line extended, and in the meantime the big man will be setting his pick just outside the three point line. Now the ballhandler needs to push the ball, and come hard off the screeners shoulder, forcing them to either
trail behind, go around, or run into the pick.
This should give your ballhandler the extra space they need to get into the halfcourt comfortably, where you can now get into your offense.
¾ Court Handoff Drill
The other option is very similar, but with one small adjustment. After dribbling over to the sideline, the ballhandler will then pass the ball to the big man, and then sprint at them the exact same way as before.
But now, instead of dribbling off of a screen, they’ll take a handoff and push the ball the same way as before.
If this is your 4-man setting the screen, and they’re a decent ballhandler, faking the handoff and spinning in the opposite direction of their teammate could work very well – especially if you’ve run the handoff a couple times already and the defense is starting to overplay.
If you’re looking for more ways to help your point guards deal with pressure, check out these ball handling drills!