The use of ball screens and the motion offense that incorporates this action is prevalent in basketball. Basketball players who can effectively use a ball screen immediately create an advantage situation for their team. A great offensive player in basketball reads the defense and seeks out the best opportunity for his team to score. This basketball finishing drill will help players work on their timing, spacing, and finishing off this action.
When a defender trails a ball-handler, this creates an advantage for the offense. This basketball drill will focus on the ball handler holding off their defender. By doing this, the player creates space and better timing for the offensive post rolling to the basket. Once the ball handler gets into the key, they will work on finishing with a floater. This is a great basketball drill to use with your team or with a small group of players.
Basketball Drill Overview
Drill Name: Hold Off the Defense Basketball Finish
Equipment Needed: 1 basketball, a chair (something to use as a ball screener), and a dummy defender (optional).
Similar Basketball Drills and Resources
- How to Do a Euro Step in Basketball
- How to Do a Rondo Fake in Basketball
- How to Do a Pro Hop in Basketball
Goals of the Drill
- Work on holding off the defender when using a ball screen.
- Focus on finishes in the key when coming off a ball screen.
- Creating separation and space from the defense.
- Players should be low and tight with the first 1-2 dribbles coming off the ball screen. This will force the defender to be on their hip or backside.
- Once the defender is on their back, players need to use their body and a wide base to hold off the defender.
- Players should slow and change speed once the defender is on their back and they get into the key.
- Players need to have their eyes up and survey the floor to read the help defense as they come off the ball screen.
- Keeping eyes on the rim and defense on your backside will either freeze or force the post defender to rotate.
- Offensive players should work on finishing with a floater in the paint.
Basketball Drill Instructions
- Place an object on either wing, which will serve as the screener.
- The offensive player will start with the ball on the same wing and come off the ball screen.
- The defender will start on the outside/hip of the offensive player.
- The offensive player will attack off the ball screen to get into the paint.
- As the player uses the screen, they will slow down to keep the defense behind and hold them off for a brief second.
- Once the player has the defense behind, they will then take an explode dribble forward to create separation.
- The offensive player will then finish with a floater in the key.
- This series is continued for the desired amount of time or repetitions.
Recommended Time, Scoring, and Repetitions
- This basketball drill is done with players working on the ball screen action sequence for 3 minutes on each side.
- To vary the drill, players could continue with the series until they make a specific number of shots.
- Rather than setting the ball screen to the middle of the floor, the ball screen could be set to the baseline side.
- Instead of only finishing with a floater, players could differ their finishes at the basket.
- A second offensive player at the low post could be added so that the ball handler has to make a lob or bounce pass to them for the finish.
- A dummy help defender could be added in the key to contest the shot.
Hold Off the Defense Basketball Finish Conclusion
An offensive player must know how to use their body to stay low and hold off the defense once they’ve gained an edge; this is a basketball fundamental for players, especially for guards and ball handlers. A ball screen can create a high percentage scoring opportunity if used properly. Great offensive players read the defense and exploit it. This basketball fundamentals breakdown will help players understand how to get the defender on their back and keep them there to take away space. This also allows time for the post player to roll to the basket, setting up another scoring option.
The basketball players using this drill will work on getting into the key and finishing with a floater. However, repetitions can be done using various finishes around the basket. Players will gain confidence by doing this basketball drill, making them more comfortable in a game situation with defense.