Feature Clinic Series – Guy Molloy on the Pick & Roll

Posted on Dec 21 2020

Melbourne Boomers coach Guy Molloy is a life member of the WNBL and has coached at all levels of the sport in Australia over a long and successful career. A former Australian Opals assistant coach, Molloy has also coached junior national teams and is currently the head coach of the New Zealand Tall Ferns.

In this clinic, Coach Molloy talks about some of the pick and roll and offensive concepts he adopts with his Melbourne Boomers and provides some insight into executing at the offensive end.

Introduction –

  • Coaching in the WNBL Hub been an interesting challenge
  • Scouting is challenging and constant – short turnaround between games
  • Teaching and adjustments done primarily through video – very little practice time
  • Big focus on “what we do” – emphasis on detail and execution, rather than preparing for every element of opponent’s system

3 v 0 down screen to seam ball screen –

  • Emphasis on being “2-wide” on the screen – sprint the screen, come to jump stop, wide base, protection
  • Pass and screen away action – weak-side player drops to “corner box” to create appropriate spacing
  • Screener sprints back to ball screen at seam/alley
  • First look of the handler is to refuse the screen and play 1 v 1 or shift the defender for more effective use of the screen
  • Handler look to “win the race to the shoulder” – be first to the screen so the defence is disadvantaged
  • Screener look to short roll to the elbow, handler use of pocket pass
  • Boomers look to short roll more often than not in this setting to provide options to attack from elbow, create high-low opportunities and create space for handler
  • Use of the hesitation-dribble key skill for the handler – important to drill and develop in young guards
  • If handler refuses screen –
    • Drive the deep help to kick out 3
    • If no direct line, screener pivot to come down hill to screen
    • Handler “climb up hill” to turn the corner (use of hesitation dribble important here)

2 v 2 pick and roll continuous –

  • 2 lines at either side of jump circle at mid court
  • Offence and defence in each
  • The screener sprints ahead to elbow and bounce back to set screen for handler
  • Working on concept of short roll and handler attacking off the hesitation move
  • No switching permitted on defence initially
  • Build tempo in and out of the screen – screener sprint to screen, handler fast-slow-fast use of screen

2 v 0/2 v 2 short roll to re-screen

  • Concept of re-screening if first screen does not impact the defence on the handler
  • Short roll, then sprint back to set the re-screen
  • Handler use of hesitation to create timing and spacing

Open hand signal by the screener – “throw and go”

  • If the screener is impacted in getting to screen, show an open hand signal to key “throw and go” (some call this “gets”)
  • Throw the ball to the screener, cut off
  • Best look is late off the pivot by the screener – you will rarely get the straight “hand-off” in this setting against sound defensive teams
  • Drill 3 v 0 – down scree, sprint back to “show and go” action
  • Build to 3 v 3

Concept of “power” off the away screen –

  • Concept of curling the down screen into a post-up for a guard/perimeter player
  • Playing through the post a lost art
  • Big guards can facilitate from the post area
  • On the post catch, “Laker cut” through elbow to create space
  • Teach counter moves off the “crab dribble” to all players so they can operate in the post – expose mismatches

Concept of “sting” – throw and go action after curl

  • Curl or back cut the down screen, screener sprint back for “throw and go” with guard (some call this “pistol” action)

Acknowledgements –

Basketball Australia would like to thank and acknowledge the following people and organisations for their support of this clinic –

  • Guy Molloy
  • Melbourne Boomers
  • Cairns Basketball Incorporated
  • Basketball Queensland

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