Last Updated on: 8th July 2023, 07:31 pm
What Is A Down Screen In Basketball?
In basketball, a down screen is a type of screen or pick set by an offensive player to free up a teammate for a shot or drive to the basket.
Specifically, a down screen is set by a player who moves down towards the baseline or lower part of the court, while the teammate they are screening for moves towards the screen and then cuts off of it. This action is often used to create space for a jump shot or to get a player open for a drive to the basket.
The down screen is a common tactic used in basketball offenses, particularly in pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop plays. It requires good timing, communication, and execution between the players involved, and can be an effective way to create scoring opportunities for the offense.
Basketball Down Screen Example
Here is an example of a down screen in basketball:
Let’s say that Team A has possession of the ball and wants to create a scoring opportunity for their shooting guard, who we’ll call Player 1. Player 2, a forward on Team A, moves down towards the baseline and sets a screen for Player 1, who is at the top of the key.
As Player 1 approaches the screen, they cut off of it and move towards the basket. Player 2’s defender, who is guarding the baseline, has to navigate around the screen to stay with Player 1, which creates a brief moment of separation between Player 1 and their defender. This gives Player 1 an opportunity to receive a pass from a teammate and take a jump shot or drive to the basket.
If executed correctly, the down screen can be an effective way to create scoring opportunities for the offense. However, it requires good timing, communication, and execution between the players involved.
Basketball Down Screen Drills
Here are some basketball down screen drills that can help players improve their timing, communication, and execution:
- Three-man weave with down screens: This drill involves three players moving down the court in a weave pattern, with the middle player setting a down screen for the player behind them. The player behind the screen cuts off of it and receives a pass from the player in front of them, then takes a shot or drives to the basket. The drill can be repeated with the other two players taking turns setting the down screen.
- Down screen shooting drill: In this drill, a coach or teammate sets up at the top of the key with a ball, while the player being drilled starts at the baseline. The player runs up towards the top of the key, where the coach or teammate sets a down screen. The player cuts off of the screen and receives a pass, then takes a shot. The drill can be repeated from different angles and with different types of shots.
- Down screen communication drill: This drill focuses on improving communication between the players involved in the down screen. Two players start at the top of the key, with one player setting a down screen for the other. The player cutting off of the screen calls out the name of the player setting the screen, while the player setting the screen calls out the direction of the cut (e.g. “left” or “right”). This helps ensure that both players are on the same page and can execute the down screen effectively.
These drills can be adapted and modified based on the skill level and experience of the players involved. They can also be combined with other types of drills to create a more comprehensive practice session.