pick and roll explained

Pick And Roll

What is Pick And Roll?

An offensive play in which a player without the ball sets a screen for his teammate with the ball and then cuts or “rolls” to the basket. He then receives a pass and uses the open lane to the basket for an easy lay-up.

Sporting Charts explains Pick And Roll

The best pick and roll uses a “roll man” that can finish near the basket with a high percentage. You also need a ball handler who is a great shooter or great at attacking the rim, so that the defense focuses most of its attention on him. Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash has terrorized opposing defenses with his ability to use the pick and roll. He has been able to find success with any teammate, but his best pick and roll partner was his former teammate Amare Stoudemire, who is now playing for the New York Knicks.

Pick And Roll – An offensive play in which a player without the ball sets a screen for his teammate with the ball and then cuts or "rolls" to the basket. He then …


noun Basketball .



Words nearby pick-and-roll


What does pick-and-roll mean?

A pick-and-roll is an offensive play in basketball where a teammate screens off a defender and then breaks free so the ball-carrier can pass it to them.

Where does pick-and-roll come from?

The exact inventor of the pick-and-roll is unknown but it most likely emerged in the 1920s in the eastern United States.

The men most often credited for the pick-and-roll are Nat Holman and Barney Sedran, two of the most influential players in basketball history, who both started their careers in the mid-1910s.

In his 1922 book Scientific Basketball, Holman describes a play that he and Sedran would run, which he dubbed “Execution Play No. 8.” This play is almost identical to the modern pick-androll.

The term itself is recorded by 1960. The name comes from the two simple maneuvers that make it up. First, a teammate screens off a defending player (i.e., stands in front of him), which is called a pick in basketball slang. Second, the screening teammate then spins (rolls) around the defender for the ball-carrier to pass it to them.

Since its creation, the pick-and-roll has been a mainstay for some of the greatest basketball players in history.

“The Mailman” Karl Malone and John Stockton were legendary for their mastery of the pick-and-roll in the late 1980s into the 1990s. In the 2000s, Steve Nash was also a genius of the play. Come the 2010s, Stephen “Steph” Curry took up that old faithful, the pick-and-roll.

How is pick-and-roll used in real life?

Among players, coaches, and basketball lovers at all levels, the pick-and-roll is a familiar phrase. It’s often discussed as running a pick-and-roll. The play is famous for both its simplicity and effectiveness in creating shots.

Goran Dragic & Hassan Whiteside work the pick and roll to perfection! #NBAPreseason

Once again: Frank Ntilikina needs to be running the pick and roll more often.#Knicks #NewYorkForever

Pick-and-roll even makes appearances in hip-hop lyrics, sometimes as a metaphor for outfoxing someone. Rick Ross memorably featured pick-and-roll in his 2012 track “Sixteen.”

More examples of pick-and-roll:

“The N.B.A. has largely turned away from relying on power players in favor of up-tempo offense. The pick-and-roll allows that, while creating offensive opportunities early in the 24-second shot clock.“
—Jonathan Abrams, The New York Times, November 2009


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Pick-and-roll definition, an offensive maneuver in which a player interposes himself or herself between a teammate with the ball and a defender, then cuts quickly toward the basket for a pass from the same teammate. See more. ]]>