Here are five things to consider when defending the pick & roll.


The location of the screen is extremely important as it can alter your coverages and rotations.



Who is setting and receiving the pick is the 2nd factor that ultimately determines who the action will be defended.

  1. Is the screener a pick & pop or pick & roll player? ie- Can they shoot?
  2. Is the recipient of the screen a shooter? ie- A Rondo or a Curry?

What Alignment

The alignment of the other offensive players also needs to be considered.

  1. If the 5 is setting it, where is the 4; and vice versa.
  2. Where are the shooters on the floor?

What is your Communication

What is your terminology at the level of the screen and the other three defenders rotating?

  1. ELC- Early, Loud, Continuous
    • Late communication=Late coverage=Distrust=Losing
  2. Determine who is controlling the talk. Usually it is your ‘bigs’ because they are usually involved in the action or around the rim seeing the entire floor.
  3. Terminology- The “talk” must be consistent across your entire program.

What is your Coverage/Scheme

The fifth component is a consolidation of the first four as the scheme is determined by the location, who, alignment, and must be communicated. Our next article we will share some schemes to consider based on your opponent.


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