How to Use the Pick in Basketball?

Mastering the pick in basketball can be challenging, so to make things simpler, here are a few basic things you need to remember when executing the technique. When your team is on the offense, a good amount of teamwork will be required to score a point.


You can’t just rely on the guy who has the ball to do everything because they will surely face a lot of attempts to block their efforts to get the ball through the hoop.

Not because you’re not holding the ball does it mean that you can’t help out in scoring. Offensive techniques like the pick can be utilized by a few team members to successfully get a few points.

What’s a Pick?

Also known as a screen, a pick is an offense strategy wherein an offensive player legally blocks a player of the opposing team from intercepting the ball from another offensive player who has it.

It’s basically guarding a defensive player from getting to the player who has the ball so they can easily shoot or pass it to someone else. Screening is a great way to help the team score some points even while you’re not technically the one who’s in charge of the ball.

basketball playing

The tides can even turn completely and make the screener the pointer as well, as it can double as executing this play can leave you open and perfect for making a great shot. Using the pick, on the other hand, will help you drive or set up a better play.

While having the ball can be quite stressful and exciting at the same time, you should still pay a lot of attention to how your teammates are faring. You need to know right away if they’re setting a screen so you can react appropriately and make a good use of it

The Basics of a Pick

If you’re interested in this play, you should know that there are 3 things that you should do when you are using the pick in a basketball game. These are the following:


Have a Good Teamwork with Everyone in Your Team

Because this play will need you to interact with another person on your team, you’ll need to have a good understanding of what’s going on. This will help you utilize the pick properly, allowing you to get the best results from your efforts.


First of all, you should know when your teammates are actually setting a screen. This will help you know where to go so you can make use of the pick. This play should come naturally among seasoned team members, as it is one of the best ways to score a point.


Have the Right Position

When using a screen, your body needs to be in the right position to avoid the opponent's’ efforts to knock you off your feet. Your stance matters, so make sure to go low.

NBA Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers

Your shoulders should be at the same height as your screener’s hip so you can still have a good balance without sacrificing your ability to catch, shoot, or drive.


Know When to Go the Opposite Way

When using a pick, you can’t just rely completely on the play your teammate is working on. You can’t just stand there and wait for the screen to be set up.

Doing so can give away the play or allow another defender to get to you. What you should do is to know how to trick the defender and prevent them from anticipating your next move.

Faking is a classic example of what you can do after using a pick. You can try to make the opposite team believe that you’re going for a shot or a drive but in reality, you’re passing the ball to another open team member.


You’ll need to be hyper-alert to do this, so you can actually pass the ball to another person on your team and not to an opponent. A curl is another good way to elude a defender. You can couple it with exploding, so you can really get away fast and try to make a shot or pass.

The Basics of a Pick

Aside from the three basic things mentioned above, there are a few more tricks in using a pick.


Be Wary of the Other Players in the Opposing Team

A pick can only stop a player or two if done properly. This means you still have at least three more players to bother about while you try to drive, pass, or shoot the ball. Be mindful of where the other opponents are without losing sight of what you should do.



Do Not Get Distracted by the Spectators

In the heat of the game, you can easily get carried away by all the yelling. Try not to get distracted by these by focusing on what you and what the other players on the court are doing.


Final Words

A screen is one of the best offense strategies there is in basketball. It may be a popular play but it doesn’t mean that it’s easily done.

To use one properly is a testament to how great your teamwork is, so make sure to create a good bond with your team members as you practice setting screens and using them.

While only one person makes the shot to score, getting a player to be open to make a shot requires a good amount of teamwork. This is why learning how to set and use a pick is necessary for every basketball team.

With the right techniques, ample practice, and solid teamwork, this can be achieved and you’ll bag a good offensive play for your next games.

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