Kids Newsletter

NBA Basketball 101: What is the pick-and-roll?

JamalMurray

One of the most used and effective plays in the NBA is the pick-and-roll.

Every great player in the league from LeBron James to Kyle Lowry has mastered the art of the pick-and-roll. It's one of the first plays many players who have made it to the NBA learned when they first picked up a ball.

But what is the pick-and-roll and how does it work? Let's take a look and find out.

The pick-and-roll (or screen-and-roll) is when a teammate puts their body in front of the defender who is guarding the player who has the basketball. This is called a pick or a screen .

Once the pick is set, the player with the basketball will then move towards the pick, which prevents the defender from following them.

The pick-setter will then roll or move towards the basket so that the ball handler now has two options: pass the ball or take it themselves for a shot.

The pick-and-roll is usually used by a guard who is handling the ball and a taller or bigger player, either the forward or centre setting the pick. It can also be used the other way around with a taller player handling the basketball and a smaller player setting the screen, but that's far less common.

Players like Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet have become NBA stars learning how to use the pick-and-roll effectively, but it was made famous by NBA Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone in the 1990s.

Today, every team uses their own version of the pick-and-roll which helps them create easier ways to score.

Now that you know what the pick-and-roll is, can you count how many times it's used the next time you watch a basketball game?

More from NBA.com

Connecticut Sun Brionna Jones Named 2021 KIA Most Improved Player
Sun's Brionna Jones named MIP
NBA.com Staff
Kyle Lowry
Lowry excited to meet Heat's championship aspirations
Yash Matange
Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Derrick Rose, New York Knicks
Will the Knicks return to the playoffs?
Kyle Irving
Kemba Walker, Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quckley, Obi Toppin, Taj Gibson, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, New York Knicks
The Knicks' plan is beginning to take shape
Gilbert McGregor
Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball, Klay Thompson - Media Day
Biggest takeaways from Media Day
Benyam Kidane
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse and Fred VanVleet
What we learned from Raptors Media Day
Scott Rafferty
More News