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View Full Version : Why do we continue to switch on screens?



MedZag
02-08-2009, 11:51 AM
Now this is not a phenomenon unique to the Zags. My beloved Portland Trailblazers also switch on screens, and it drives me bananas.

We can get away with it in WCC where our athleticism can counteract the mismatches, but against teams like Memphis they just eat up those mismatches with ease. I was pulling my hair out every time I saw Dozier working on Pargo in the key or Evans driving by Heytvelt. That 3 that Evans hit at the end of the first half was a direct result of our switch. Brown stuck with the screener and Gray left to follow the screener, leaving Evans with a wide open look, even though everyone and their pet hamster knew Evans was taking the last shot.

I have yet to see a reasoned, articulate explanation of why switching on screens is a GOOD thing. Can anyone give one to me?

ZagHouse
02-08-2009, 12:13 PM
Actually, it was Ira Brown not Gray, but either way, another dagger in a head scratcher of a game.

edcasey
02-08-2009, 12:47 PM
defending the screen is a "pick your poison" decision based upon your players skill level and the team your are playing and their abilities.

If you jump hi and switch screens you are taking away the quick jumper shooters from behind the screen and forcing the dribbler away from the action...hoping that at some point you cand defend the drive or avoid the isolation action that you refer to.

If you dont jump hi and send the on ball defender behind or slip the screen good shooters simply stop and rise for their uncontested shot. So if you are playijng against a team who has the inability to make pull up jump shots, then slip screens is workable, but good teams will eat this alive.

The incident you are referring to I watched immediately on tivo and told my wife that Ira didnt fulfill his obligation. He jumped the screen action high and should have stayed with the shooter. Instead he hedged then floated back leaving Grey looking like a fool since grey had started to swtich and stay with Ira man. I even rewound the tivo to show my wife Coach Few as he walked off the court pointing to his temple and telling Brown to "think"...because he failed to fulfill his obligation in staying with the shooter as he jumped the screen

208Zag
02-08-2009, 01:37 PM
Switching screens is lazy defense IMO.

Defending the on ball screen is a team effort by both defenders and is starts with communication. If you know the screen is comming its much, much easiere to defend. From there you have to give the screen defender space to get through the screen and the off ball defender has to hedge the screen forcing the ball away from the basket giving his teammate a chance to get through the screen and back in to defensive position.

MedZag
02-08-2009, 08:52 PM
defending the screen is a "pick your poison" decision based upon your players skill level and the team your are playing and their abilities.

If you jump hi and switch screens you are taking away the quick jumper shooters from behind the screen and forcing the dribbler away from the action...hoping that at some point you cand defend the drive or avoid the isolation action that you refer to.

If you dont jump hi and send the on ball defender behind or slip the screen good shooters simply stop and rise for their uncontested shot. So if you are playijng against a team who has the inability to make pull up jump shots, then slip screens is workable, but good teams will eat this alive.

The incident you are referring to I watched immediately on tivo and told my wife that Ira didnt fulfill his obligation. He jumped the screen action high and should have stayed with the shooter. Instead he hedged then floated back leaving Grey looking like a fool since grey had started to swtich and stay with Ira man. I even rewound the tivo to show my wife Coach Few as he walked off the court pointing to his temple and telling Brown to "think"...because he failed to fulfill his obligation in staying with the shooter as he jumped the screen

I buy your reasoning Ed. But for a team like Memphis, that had the length to exploit the mismatches off switches and was driving into the lane like it was warmup drills, don't you dare them to shoot a little bit? Have the defender slip behind to take away their angle into the lane and make them hit an outside shot? Memphis came into the game notorious for their outside shot being their weakness, and the switches seemed to play right into their strengths (slashing guards and athletic bigs) in order to take away their jump shot (their weakest aspect of their game.)

It's just a head scratcher to me.

edcasey
02-09-2009, 10:02 AM
I reviewed the game just to chart the drive off switches and while we were in man I could only find 3 occaisions that a drive occured to expoit the switch. I saw some poor footwork on closeouts (up foot exposing baseline, not breaking down into proper position ect) that led to serious ball drives to the lane

So in this particular game I did not see us getting burnt on the switches....and to be honest, personally the only two players NOT capable of handling switches guard or forward area is Foster and Heytvelt....I have no problem Daye swtiching to a guard as he is asked to guard those all the time, no problem with Brown switching to a guard as he generally is able to handle that swtich in regards to lateral quickness

Another poster likes to defend screens by hedging the weakside defender, which creates some real issues if there is an off side shooter or driver as the rotation is difficult when dealing with quickness or shooters to get back out to them to recover on the quick pass off the screen when a defender slips a screen (goes behind the screener).

Many many drives occured while in the zone which perplexed me (believe personally that it was Coach C game plan to attack the wing on drive) while we were in zone because they (memphis) flashed to semi-middle a post, taking away the help on a drive...a particular weakness of the zone exploited intentionally in my opinion. This was highlighted in particular by the wings on the lower zone who got pinched in for the flash-releasing him to middle man, then trying to recover to the wing...while the wing or guards were driving ....many many times I saw wrong angles, wrong footwork providing baseline (which is fine if you have your big still sitting down under the basket but in this particular offensive set we were facing they pull our middle defender away)....to me that was one of the biggest issues in our normally good matchup zone defense


If I find time I might rechart the actual points against man vs zone.....for me the bigger issue in the first half was defensive conversion for our zags...many many times memphis was pounding the ball down our throats before we could even get back into a defensive set causing some serious defensive breakdowns....

CDC84
02-09-2009, 10:26 AM
Part of the problem is that there is a big difference when the 6-5 Steven Gray and 6-4 Ira Brown switch on to a post player, and when the 5-10 Demetri Goodson switches on to a post player. Gray and Brown are superb at fronting post players and cutting off clean post entries. When the other team doesn't have a skilled point guard who can pass over the shoulder (see 2nd half vs. St. Mary’s and the whole USD game from last week), those 2 guys make it hard to feed the post. It's still not ideal when facing teams with tall posts, but at least they have a chance. Poor Goodson got caught in isolation a couple of times with the 4's and 5's from Memphis….the easy passes were thrown where Goodson couldn’t reach them, and needless to say, Meech was defenseless in stopping the shot attempts.

Vanzagger
02-09-2009, 05:35 PM
Jay Bilas said we need our hands up on D. They are looking right through our zone. Does he know what he's talking about?

Wasn't there some guy posting on here saying the same thing? Is this hard to coach?

Scotto
02-09-2009, 07:26 PM
Perimeter to Perimeter switching is usually fine. It's the perim to post switch that causes problems usually. I tell my players to hedge on big to small.

montanazag88
02-09-2009, 08:46 PM
Switching works well with tighter man-to-man defense. Without pressure the point play is easy work in terms of deciding to shoot versus pass to mismatches. If our pressure increases, Memphis starts every play with a rushing guard out of position in most cases to "rub" his screen-man. Many times I saw Evans with 5-10 feet to work with at the beginning of each play, leaving him an ability to drive without screens period. This is an issue that can't last and I epect it not to.