Pick & Roll Basketball

What is Pick and Roll in Basketball

Basketball is a game that requires strategic planning and execution to be successful. Pick-and-roll is undoubtedly one of Basketball’s most widely used offensive tactics. It is an offensive technique that allows the teammates to pass the ball.

The trick can be executed differently and involve different players, making it a versatile tool for basketball teams.

What does “Pick and Roll” mean in Basketball?

The “pick” is an offensive technique in which a player sets himself up as a wall against an opposing player without committing violations to create a clear lane for the ball handler. A pick is also known as a screen.

A “roll” refers to an offensive player who moves toward the hoop or the ball after setting a screen/picks to generate a scoring opportunity or drive opponents away.

How does it work?

The pick-and-roll trick in Basketball needs two players – the ball handler and the screener. The ball handler dribbles toward the defender, and the screener sets a screen by standing like a wall to block the defender’s path.

Once the screen is set, the basketball handler has two options, such as:

He can drive to the basket or shoot a jump if the defender stays with the screener. If the defender follows the ball handler, he can pass the ball to the screener, who can then roll to the basket for an easy layup or dunk.

Proper execution of the pick and roll

The pick-and-roll method is difficult to master. Both players must have good communication, timing, execution, and understanding of Basketball. The ball handler must read the defense and decide whether to drive to the basket, take the open jump shot, or pass to the screener. The screener must set a solid screen and roll to the basket at the right time to create space for the ball handler.

Defensive Strategies to Stop the Pick and Roll

Defending the pick and roll can be difficult, but there are methods for doing so. Switching defenders is the most popular defensive method. If the defender shifts to the screener, the ball handler can leverage the mismatch by driving to the basket or shooting an open jump shot. Conversely, if the defender sticks with the ball handler, the screener can roll to the hoop for an easy layup or slam.

Hedging the screen is another protective approach. Before applying the hedging technique, each defending team member should know their responsibilities and basics to advance basketball knowledge. This includes the screener’s defender moving out and blocking the ball handler’s route, allowing the ball handler’s defender to recover.

History of the Pick and Roll

Pick and Roll has been a part of basketball for almost as long as the sport. It isn’t easy to highlight who was the founder of this technique. Some say that Homan and Sedran played this technique in early professional basketball games in 1910.

Pick and roll became more prevalent in the NBA during the 1960s and 1990s when teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls used it effectively. Today, every team in the NBA uses this trick, a critical component of modern basketball.

Why is it important?

Pick and Roll is an important offensive strategy in basketball because it creates several opportunities to advance the game. It forces the defense to make instant decisions. If the defender makes a quick but wrong decision, the ball handler takes advantage and baskets the ball. Offense players adjust methods and switch people to influence the defensive players.

What is “Pick and Pop” in basketball?

The pick and pop is an offensive strategy in which the screener “pops” toward a vacant open spot on the floor rather than the basket to receive the ball pass.


The pick and roll is a versatile and effective offensive tactic in basketball. It involves setting a screen or pick for the ball handler, who then dribbles towards the screen while the screener “rolls” towards the basket. There are various ways to execute the pick-and-roll, and it can involve different players, making it a flexible tool for basketball teams. Whether you want to perfect your pick-and-roll technique, understand how to defend against it, or explore different play variations.

It is important to recognize the importance of pick and roll in modern basketball. By incorporating this strategy into your team’s offensive playbook, you can create more scoring opportunities and increase your chances of success on the court.


What is a “pick” in basketball?

A pick is a screen used by an offensive player to block the defensive player and create space for the ball-handler to drive or shoot in basketball.

What is a “roll” in basketball?

In basketball, a “roll” refers to the movement of a screener toward the basket after setting a pick. The roll is an important part of the pick-and-roll play, as it creates another scoring option for the ball handler by pulling defenders toward the screener and away from the ball handler.

What is the difference between a pick and a screen in basketball?

In basketball, “pick” and “screen” are interchangeable. Some distinguish them based on who receives the block. Others argue that a “pick” is just for the ball-handler, but a “screen” is for any teammate. Nevertheless, there is no hard and fast rule, and the names are frequently used interchangeably.

How can I defend against the pick and roll?

Defending against the pick-and-roll in basketball demands communication, anticipation, and rapid reflexes. Defenders should communicate with one another to swap or hedge the screen. One defender takes the ball-handler while the other stays with the screener. Another strategy is to double-team the ball-handler aggressively. This may result in a turnover or a disputed shot.

Who invented the pick-and-roll in basketball?

The origin of the pick-and-roll is debated, but it likely appeared in the 1920s in the eastern United States. Nat Holman and Barney Sedran, two prominent players in basketball history, are often credited with their creation in the mid-1910s. Despite its uncertain origins, the pick-and-roll is a widely recognized and effective play in basketball at all levels.

John Doe

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