Defending Staggered Double Screens

There are three defenders involved in defending this action:

  • the person defending the cutter;
  • the person defending the first screen;
  • the person defending the second screen.

As with any defensive scheme, it is important that all three are aware of what their team mates are doing. The defence will always work more successfully where team mates are acting in unison.

x1, x2 and x3 come from quite different positions when the staggered screens are set. Often if Player 3 is a good perimeter shooter, x3 may not be on the split line initially, but may be closer to Player 3.

  • x1 stands on the “low” side of the first screen to stop 3 cutting directly to the basket.
  • x3 moves to meet the cutter as the cut past the first screen, stopping them from curling to the basket.
  • x2 moves to the ball side of the second screen to put pressure on the passing lane.

If the cutter (3) does curl to the basket, then x2 can guard that, and x3 can move into position to guard 2 (second screener).

Another common tactic is for x2 (guarding the second screen) to switch onto the cutter (3) and x3 switches onto x2.

In this action, if 2 cuts to the basket before 3 is in position to guard them, x1 can rotate across to guard 2 and x3 guards 1.