The short roll emerged more and more frequently this past NBA season. The short roll is inserted into offense as a way to create an offensive advantage off a high ball screen when the defense has the main objective of getting the ball out of the ball handlers hands. When considering implementing the short roll as part of your pick and roll scheme, here are a few points to consider:
- Have the screener be a great decision maker. The screener will be leading the offensive attack after the pick and roll, so it is vital that they have the ability to make great decisions, as well as the skill to make open jumpers and pass on the move.
- Depth and pace are key for the roll man to consider. The roll should start slow and the roller needs to place their body in “the window” between the two defenders so that they are pass available.
- The ball handler will need to read the weakside defenders who are engaged in guarding the action and make the appropriate pass that follows. This pass could be to the roll man, or to another perimeter player.
The short roll is effective because the roll man catches the basketball in open space and causes the defense to react and rotate while they are in a disadvantage situation.
Because there are two shooters in each corner, the defenders off the ball must be mindful of providing too much help, lest the shooter roll up towards the ball and get an uncontested three-point shot.
The short roll can be a great way to get multiple looks at the basket, even when the ball is out of the hands of the offense’s most dangerous player. To see game examples of the short roll, along with audio commentary, please video the video below:
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