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Increasingly at the collegiate and even high school levels, teams are running ball screen sets. As the postseason nears and high level teams remain, offenses must be prepared for all different styles of defensive play. Some nuanced defensive teams will throw a counter to good ball screen offenses – known as icing. Icing a ball screen occurs on side ball screens, where the man guarding the ball squares his shoulders to the sideline and does not let the ball go middle. The man guarding the screener does not hedge the screen, instead being ready to contain the ball as it gets driven towards the baseline. He contains, the original defender recovers and the man guarding the screener is in position to take away any rolls to the rim.
The most obvious counter to icing a ball screen is hitting the pick-and-pop game, since coverage on the screener is non-existent at the moment the ball gets driven baseline. After that, teams adjust to set alley screens which lead the ball handler to the baseline. However, coaches of ball screen-heavy offenses may consider putting in a counter during the postseason. This play is one run by many NBA teams to stop a team from icing their ball screen.
As 1 dribbles down the court up the sideline, that pushes 3 to rise to the elbow. 3 seeks out the defender of the trailer, pinning him into the lane where he is unable to get over to help on an iced ball screen. If he doesn’t even call out the screen, which he may not because he is getting screened, x1 may not get into position to ice the ball screen, which would open up a middle drive with shooters spaced opposite.
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