This article is going to cover the basics of setting great screens during the course of a game. It will cover some of the basics, teaching points, and cover the four basic types of screens that most players will encounter throughout the course of a game.
The first thing that you need to focus on when setting a screen is making sure that your feet are set and that you aren't leaning to one side or the other. If your feet are moving or you lean into your screen, you may get called for a moving screen and an offensive foul.
Stance and Angle
The next thing that you want to focus on is getting low and wide on your screen and choosing a great angle. Doing both of these things the right way will drastically increase the outcome of the screen and hopefully open up a great scoring opportunity for your team.
Screening to Score
A screen is used to help get a teammate open, but can also result in the person setting the screen getting open as well if the defense over helps on the player using the screen.
That is why after setting a screen, you want to react and be ready to get the basketball. Some examples would be, opening up and spacing for the shot, rolling to the basket for a finish, or immediately going to set another screen. You should always be doing something after you set a screen; don't ever just screen and stand.
Basic Types of Screens
There are several different types of screens that you can use to help get a teammate open. Some are more complex than others, but all are good tools to use to help the offense run smoother. Every team needs players that are willing to set screens for their teammates.
Here are 4 basic types of screens that you can use the next time you play. Also included with each type of screen is a link to watch a play with that type of screen in it.
Ball Screen: A great ball screen is set with pace and at a good angle. The reason why you want to set it with pace, is because if you can get your defender trailing you before you set the screen, they will be out of position to help on the screen.
Resource: Ball Screen Play
Down Screen: You will most likely use this type of screen for a wing player. What you are going to do is position yourself away from the ball next to the player that is going to use the screen. From there the wing player is going to run off of you and use you as a screen.
You still have the responsibility to screen the defender. The terminology is called "head hunting" and it is important that you legally screen the defender. Secondly, you need to make sure that you are reading the type of cut the wing player is making, and then determine whether you should space, roll, etc. As a general rule of thumb, if the wing player curls you want to space, and if they straight cut or fade cut you can roll or slip the screen.
Resources: Down Screen Play
Back Screen: The back screen is a great way to set up your teammates for easy finishes at the basket. A big key to this type of screen is angle. You need to set up your teammate so that they have a great lane to the basket for the finish. Once you set the screen you need to open up to the ball. If you set a great screen and your defender helps on the screen you will be wide open, but only if you open up and make yourself a target.
Resource: Back Screen Play
Flare Screen: This is similar to the back screen but the only difference is the angle of the screen. Instead of screening them so they can cut into the paint, you are going to screen them so that they can cut along the perimeter for a shot.
This is a great way to take advantage of help defenders that get caught ball watching. Once again though, you need to open up and make yourself a target immediately after you set the screen because you may be open for a shot.
Resource: Flare Screen Play
Setting screens in basketball is a big part of the game. It is not something that requires a lot skill, but it does require knowing how to execute the move correctly and then having the desire to do it. To become a great screener you must make a conscious effort.