Screening the zone can be particularly effective at getting players on the perimeter open to receive a pass. However, a common mistake that teams make is to only shoot from the perimeter against a zone. After screening, the offensive player should look to receive a pass and the team should look to penetrate the ball into the zone.

Screening Behind the Zone

Screening behind the zone is most commonly setting a screen on the opposite side of the floor to where the court is.

4 sets a screen to free 3. If x3 fights to get to 3, 4 should step into the keyway and seal x5.

Here both 4 and 3 screen the “back” or “outside” of the zone. 1 relocates to the wing to receive the pass.

Instead of screening x3 (in order to free 3), 4 steps into the keyway to screen x5. 5 flashes to the short corner forcing x3 to decide whether to guard 3 or stay and guard 5.

Screening the Ballside

  • 1 dribbles to the wing, being guarded by x2
  • 3 sinks to the corner, and 4 steps in to screen x3
  • 3 will be open to receive the pass. If x3 fights over the screen, 4 steps into keyway to seal x5.

In similar movement to above:

  • 4 screens x2, which may free 1
  • 3 sinks to the corner. 1 can either look for their shot, or pass to 3.
  • If x3 comes to defend 1, then 3 will be open as will 4 as the roll to the basket.

Combination of Screens and Dribble

  • 1 dribbles to the wing and both 3 and 4 screen the outside of the zone – 1 may be open for a shot
  • 3 steps to the top of the key to receive pass the from 1
  • 3 “freezes” x1 and then reverses the ball to 2
  • 4 and 1 screen the back of the zone, as 3 relocates to the wing to receive pass. This pass (a “skip” pass) is difficult for many players to throw accurately. These screens could be just as effective if 2 dribbled towards the key. Cette passe (une passe transversale au-dessus de la tête) est difficile à faire de manière précise pour de nombreux joueurs. Ces écrans pourraient être tout aussi efficaces si 2 dribblait vers la raquette.

Attacking Zones

Teams playing against a zone should also consider:

  • “Ball Reversal” – can move the zone “out of shape”. It is often most effective, where
    • Screens are used on the back of the zone;
    • Dribble penetration is used to “freeze” defenders;
  • Having a player opposite the ball on the 3 point line will often present a scoring option
  • Before passing the ball back to a player on the same side as the ball, the ball should cross
    the split line (either by dribble or pass). This will help to move the zone “out of shape”
  • In order to get a shot for a particular player, take the ball away from them, and then
    bring it back to them.
  • Dribbling the ball can drag defenders, passing the ball back will often find a free player
  • Use pass fakes to move zone defenders (who may move in anticipation) and then
    attack the gap created.