Motion Offense – Rescreen Situations

By Randy Sherman

January 17, 2016: Wisconsin Badgers guard Bronson Koenig #24 dribbles off a screen during the NCAA Basketball game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. Wisconsin defeated Michigan State 77-76. John Fisher/CSM(Credit Image: © John Fisher/CSM via ZUMA Wire)

Two screening situations in your motion offense where “rescreens” can be an effective tactic. 

There are instances in motion offense where screening just once is not enough. Effective screeners know how to slip, second cut and space themselves within the alignment of the offense after setting a screen.

But often a rescreen is the best option for a screener after they set their initial screen. Getting a sense of when a rescreen is needed takes time for screeners to develop. There are two common scenarios in which a rescreen fits within the framework of motion offense.

Flare Screen/Down Screen

When setting a flare screen the ball should be on a high elbow. The cutter using the flare will often end up on the outer third of the court. Therefore it is advantageous for the pass to come from the middle third of the court when the flare screen is set (set diagram below). Outer third-to-outer third passes are much too long to complete. Page 001Often screeners will set the flare early and the ball on the outer third is not timed with the action. Here a rescreen can be beneficial. The screener turns and down screens for the same cutter in the rescreen. Below, the diagram shows a flare screen being set with the ball on the opposite wing. As the ball is brought to the screening action, the screener rescreens into a down screen for the cutter. Page 001The flare screen is combined with the down screen where the cutter has the four basic reads of motion offense at their disposal. The screener has several options as a second cut after he/she flare screens. The rescreen into a down screen is often the best of those options as it ties the action with the ball.

Use restrictions such as starting a possession with a flare screen/rescreen combination in the 2-on-2 with a coach setting to drill the flare screen/rescreen concept.

Back Screen/Pin Screen

There is a specific instance when the back screen from the post can be an “automatic.” If a cutter on the wing elects not to feed the post and passes the ball back to the top, the post can sprint out and set a back screen for the cutter on the wing. Screening for the player that just passed the ball can be effective.

Below we see the ball being passed from wing to high elbow on the closed post side (shaded area). The post races out to back screen for the passer.

Tips on back screening:

  • Take the screen all the way to the defender’s body
  • Cutter must read and set up their man either a step higher or a step lower depending on the defensive positioning of their defender
  • Screening angle = back to the rim

Page 001The post player could separate from the back screen and get a wing catch. Often an effective back screen can cause the screener’s defender to help on the cutter. Separating from the screen can give space for a shot or a drive against the momentum of the recovering defender for a versatile post player.

But the screener can rescreen for the cutter if the pass is not made to the screener or the cuttter. This option is the rescreen into a pin screen. The big who back screened their way to the perimeter would then turn and immediately pin screen their way back into the post. Page 002Bigs pin screening along the lane line should always look to seal their man into a post up after setting the pin. The cutter coming off the pin can straight cut to the wing, tight curl the screen, fade to the corner or make a “horny” curl to the free throw line area.

Use these motion offense breakdown drills to teach the back screen/pin screen combination:

Screening is a nuanced art form where players must master timing, communication and the geometry of the game. A good screener knows his/her job is often not finished after one attempt to free a teammate. These rescreen scenarios can lead to better shots for desired shooters in motion offense.

Continue the motion offense conversation: 

For help with practice planning and implementation of a motion offense attack, check out the RAMP program.

Explore and use the Twitter hashtag #MotionOffenseTips as well!

Any questions: Contact me. Happy to talk hoops any time day or night! If you would like to be added to the motion offense mailing list, email and let me know!

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Randy Sherman
Randy Sherman is the owner and founder of Radius Athletics - a basketball coaching consulting firm - where he consults with basketball coaches at all levels on coaching philosophy, practice planning, Xs & Os and teaching a conceptual style of basketball. While a head basketball coach at the the interscholastic level, Sherman's teams won 197 games in nine seasons.
Randy Sherman

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January 17, 2016: Wisconsin Badgers guard Bronson Koenig #24 dribbles off a screen during the NCAA Basketball game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. Wisconsin defeated Michigan State 77-76. John Fisher/CSM(Credit Image: © John Fisher/CSM via ZUMA Wire)
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