Defending America’s Play

By Craig LeVasseur

America’s Play, or pick the picker, remains one of the hardest actions to defend at every level of competition. Successfully defending the play start with good cross screen defense. Here is how we defended the action in Detroit:

Defending the Cross Screen

  • The man defending the cutter must make contact with his man before he hits the screen, forcing the cutter over the screen. He hooks his top foot over the top foot of the screener to get by the screen.
  • The defender on the screener must be body to body with his man. He gets high side and pushes the screener lower towards the baseline, and is in position to bump the cutter if needed.

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Defending Pick the Picker

  • x5 must time up the cross screen and sag into the paint to bump the cutter, and then ready to get back in position to stunt on down screen
  • x2 stays attached to his man during the cross screen, and is ready to shoot the gap at the point of the screen on the down screen

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Weakside Awareness

  • Weakside wing, x3, is ready to bump 5 high if he rolls, and is also alert for the fade off of the down screen by 2
  • If 2 fades on the down screen, x3 must stunt to give x2 time to recover, x1 is active with high hands to force a hang-time pass
  • x3 is ready to switch if 2 is late, and x2 closes out to 3 if there is a switch

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Craig LeVasseur

FastModel Sports. Previously spent 5 seasons on the coaching staff of the Detroit Pistons, and 3 years at Eastern Michigan University. University of Michigan alum... Go Blue!

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