The game is going positionless and defenses are switching matchups now more than ever. So slipping screens should become a staple for any offense, with the mantra being, “If they switch, then slip.”
From off-the-ball to ball-screens, let’s take a look at some of the film gratuitously already cut for coaches to observe how it can be integrated within your offense.
Slip Off-Ball Screening Action
In the past decade, the Golden State Warriors have been an elite offensive system demonstrating the effectiveness of slipping off-ball screens. With arguably two of the best shooters in NBA history opposing defenses come up with the best plan possible to avoid giving open three-point field-goal attempts.
The idea of switching screens should allow defenders to increase their chances of staying connected to cutters looking to get open on the perimeter. The counter is – if they switch, then slip – taking advantage of miscommunications or lack of positioning between the ball and the screener from getting high-percentage shots around the rim.
Communication or positioning are the two primary reasons for defensive breakdowns.
The ghost screen is another option looking to accomplish just that by putting two defenders in conflict deciding whether or not to switch, hedge, or stick to their matchup. Ghosting starts with an approach to the on-ball defender then sprinting into space.
Blurring the defensive responsibilities can leave the initially perceived screener open on the perimeter or create an opportunity for the ballhandler to attack. Even the slightest hesitation by an on-ball defender can give just enough of an angle for the ballhandler to gain an advantage toward the rim.
At the very least, what you will see in the video below is how this concept can lead to a disconnect from defenders to force a lengthy closeout. The best scorers will know how to take care of the rest.
Other Offensive Concepts To Attack Switching Defenses
Slipping screens aren’t the only counter to switching defenses. As 5-out offenses are becoming the trending style of play, there are other offensive concepts that can exploit mismatches or teams looking to matchup on the perimeter from every exchange.
There are two basic actions on offense that can look to use slipping as a counter to any switching defenders:
- Slip off-ball screens (e.g. split cuts, pindowns, and flare screens)
- Ghost ball-screens by approaching an on-ball defender and sprinting to space
- Other offensive concepts to attack switching matchup defenses
The old adage has always been take what the defense gives you. The mantra, “If they switch, then slip!” should become an offensive staple.
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