Basketball Offense: The Pick and Roll

Properly running a pick and roll can put pressure on the defense and be difficult to guard.

Some of the best offensive tactics in basketball rely on teamwork to succeed.

The pick and roll is one of the most popular offensive strategies where teammates work together. When executed correctly, it can allow the offense to create multiple scoring options and gain an advantage on the defense.


To run the pick and roll:

  • One player sprints to screen the on-ball defender.
  • The screener comes to a jump stop and maintains a low, wide base while keeping their back pointed in the direction that they want the ball handler to attack.
  • The teammate with the ball will work to set up the screen by jab stepping the opposite way of the screen being set.
  • The ball handler then dribbles toward the screen, attacking the top foot and shoulder of the screener. This can force the screener’s defender to help their teammate by stepping in to guard the ball handler.
  • The screener reverse pivots, working to create separation while showing their outside hand as a target and rolling toward the basket.
  • The ball handler delivers a bounce pass to their teammate who is rolling toward the basket so they can finish strong at the rim.

The pick and roll puts a lot of pressure on the defense, which can make it very difficult to defend.

To find success on the hardwood, you should work on your ball-handling skills regularly. Performance enhancement specialist Paul Fabritz offers some tips about the misdirection crossover, a popular move that can help you create space.