Once you establish yourself as a good jump shooter off of the bounce, The defender guarding the player who sets the screen is not going to allow you to come off the ball screen and get a clean look for a jump shot.
As a result often times they will over hedge and open up space for you to split. You have to be mindful of what the defender thinks about when he sees you coming off of a ball screen. If you are coming off of the ball screen hard and you are a good shooter off of the dribble you should be prepared for him to over hedge. “I know when I come off of the screen if the big is hedgeing that more than likely he will hedge too hard because he is afraid of me pulling up” Jimmer Fredette told me during one of our workouts.
Splitting ball screens is equal part feel and equal part skill. Obviously you develop the feel by film study, discussing the topic with other coaches and players, game like drill work (see the above video) and in game experience. As you do these things you will be able to anticipate the split and see it as it is happening.
The skills needed to effectively split ball screens at a high level include:
- a tight handle
- dribble with your head up in order to see it and anticipate
- ability to make a hard cross over and control it close to your body
- ability to accelerate at the point of contact (while being under control think Russ Westbrook)
- efficient change of direction
- ability to be deceptive with your eyes and body language (think Chris Paul)
- ability to decelerate after the split (so you want get an offensive foul)
- high level finishes (running floaters, running one leg jump shots, using the glass)
The better your feel and skill the smaller the window needed to split!
Nick Graham Player Development