Basketball Moves Breakdown: Iverson takes 2 screens and pulls up


They say that in the NBA, there is no good defense against a good pick and roll combo. That is the most simplest play in basketball, and it can throw even the best defenses in disarray. Here’s a look at how Iverson uses a screen two times to free himself up for a jumper.

First, Iverson sprints downcourt at full speed and calls for a pick from Dalembert.

Watch as Iverson goes around the screen. Observe two things:

- The defense hasn’t switched on him.- His man has opted to go under the screen.ai2

Now soon as Iverson observes that his man has gone under the screen, he goes and takes another screen from Dalembert. Now both defenders are stuck on the wrong side of the screen.ai3

Right now the defense has no choice other than to switch on Iverson. If his man looks to fight off the screen and catch Iverson, by then AI will have a clear path to the rim. So the big man switches on Iverson and goes under the screen, anticipating a drive to the basket.ai4

The best part about trying to anticipate what Iverson will do, is that the man himself doesn’t know what he’s about to do until a few moments before he does it. Upon being asked how he manages to get free with such alacrity, Iverson replied “I just do it.” Even though the ideal course of action here seems like going to the rim, Iverson elects to pull up for a jumper. Watch him below right behind Dalembert, he has a clear lane, but the big man is rushing in the paint to block the drive.


Look at the feet of the big man trying to contest Iverson’s shot. He had overcommitted to blocking off the drive, and got caught flat footed. When someone in a good position looks to challenge a shot, they are balancing on their back foot and pushing forward on their front foot. The defender is balancing on his front foot as his back foot was still taking him in the paint to prevent the drive.


Watching the feet of the defense can clue you in on which way their momentum is driving them and you can exploit that split second advantage.

To recap:- go around a screen.- if your man goes under the screen, go back the opposite way around the screen again.- if the defense switches and the big man goes under the screen, he will probably try to prevent the drive, so pull up for a jumper.

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Edited by Staff Editor