If you’ve got a player with great passing, scoring, and decision making ability, as a coach the pick and roll should be your best friend. When your player can do all three of these things the defense simply has to pick their poison.

Either they go under the screen and give your player a rhythm jump shot. They go over the screen and give you both the lane and the roll to the basket. Or they hedge, or trap the ballhandler, leaving the pop or one of your other players to spot up for an easy shot.

Coaching Pick and Roll
Head On Pick and Roll

Head-On Pick and Roll

This is a great play to run at the end of the game. Usually the defense will not offer too much help as their men are miles away from the ball and it is tough for them not to concede an easy 15 foot jumpshot.

Have your ballhandler stand as close to halfcourt as they feel comfortable, and spread your wings in the corners.

Make sure your pick man standing right underneath the top of the arc, and the other post play in the Russian corner, just behind the backboard.

Just as the ballhandler starts to move toward the paint, have your picker step out and slide either to the left, to the right, or even right behind the defender.

When he steps in to the key, make sure your players all slide appropriately, and give the ballhandler easy passing lanes.

Step-Up Pick and Roll

This play is great for getting other players open shots, as it is very tough for the defense to cover the penetration along the baseline as well as the roll in the key without leaving one of your perimeter players wide open for a 3-point shot.

Coaching Pick and Roll
Step Up Pick and Roll

Have your two best three point shooters spot up on the left side of the court, and your center head to the left block. Your point guard should be on the right side, and the pick man on that same side’s elbow.

The pick man should step up off the elbow into the point guard’s defender as he dribbles down to the baseline.

As he approaches the key, have one shooter drift “ up to the arc and another down towards the baseline. The roll man should be popping in behind the point, and your other post should be sliding across the lane.

Coaching Keys

  • Your picker should be opening up towards the ball whether they roll or pop, always ready for the pass
  • Remind your ballhandler that going away from the screen is an option as well
  • Teach the “ ball handler to come at least two dribbles off of the pick before making their decision



If you enjoyed this article but are actually looking for ways to deal with the pick and roll on the defensive end, click here for some schemes you can work on with your team.

If you’re looking for more offensive ideas, make sure you check out our complete director of basketball plays. You’ll find step by step tutorials for the most popular half court sets, as dozens of proven plays you can take right to the gym.