A common tactic to defend a ball screen is “Ice” or “Push”, which is where the defender (x1) moves to a position where the dribbler (1) cannot use the ball screen.

The screener’s defender (x5) moves toward the key to a position to stop any dribble to the baseline. This is most common when the ball screen is on the wing.

In response to this defensive tactic, offensive teams may change the angle of the ball screen so that it is set with back to the baseline (similar to an up screen – which is called a “flat” screen) or even on the side of the defender nearest the sideline.

The dribbler must take their defender to the screen, moving to a position on the court where they are in line to hit the screen.

Here, 1 moves too far across the screen so that x1 will be able to move behind 5, rather than moving into 5.

Here 1 has not moved far enough across the court, so that x1 will move easily pass the screen. The screener cannot continuously move (as this will be a blocking foul) so that once the screen is set, the offensive player have to move their defender into the screen.

As 1 gets to the screen (and x1 moves into the screen), 1 must attack x5, looking to take advantage of the mismatch. 1 must use a “snake” dribble to crossover and be behind the screen, to ensure that x1 cannot get back into position to defend them.