Today I am going to discuss what I think is one of the most effective technique to defend sideline pick & rolls. A sideline (or side) pick & roll is anything set from around the free-throw line extended area or below. If you refer back my previous post “Defending Middle Pick & Rolls”, all of those techniques (except “Weak”) are just as effective on the side as well. However, consider throwing this new technique below into the mix.

When defending pick & rolls, most coaches have one goal, prevent the ball handler from turning the corner and getting into the lane. However, too often the ball gets into the lane; resulting in giving up easy points and a coach throwing a tirade on the sideline. Is it really the players’ fault or does it stem from a poor game-plan?

Let me enlighten you on a concept the NBA has been using for years, “Ice” (or “Blue”). If you have ever been fortunate enough to attend an NBA game and sit close enough to hear the players communicating on the floor, you probably heard this term used while defending particular pick & roll situations on the side. There are numerous reasons why some teams prefer to “Ice” and others do not, it all really depends on the coaches’ defensive philosophy. However, my personal reasons why/when you should “Ice” are as follows:

In terms of teaching the technique, “Icing” is somewhat similar to a concept I discussed in my last post, “Weak”.  Note: you can use any term/color you would like to call out this defense. As the offense is sprinting into the pick and your big is yelling “Ice, Ice, Ice!”, the guard will adjust his stance to be on the top hip (closest to half-court), forcing the ball toward the baseline. While adjusting the stance, it is essential the guard maintains slight contact in order take away downhill momentum. The bigs’ job is to drop to the wing area and contain the ball until the guard recovers. If the guard gets hung up too long and the ball handler starts attacking the big, make sure your other three defenders are in the right positions ready to help and rotate.


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