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Denver Nuggets Set of the Week: Ballscreen Continuity

The set of the week is a weekly series that diagrams and explains one of the best Denver Nuggets offensive plays, sets, or actions. This week's action is the Denver Nuggets Ballscreen Continuity.

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Attacking out of the pick and roll is a key component for any NBA team, and the Nuggets benefit from utilizing Mudiay and Nelson in the pick and roll. The best way for a young guard to improve in the pick and roll is to gain game reps, allowing the reads to become easier. Looking at the Nuggets ballscreen continuity motion, it enables guards like Mudiay to attack in the ballscreen as well as spacing the floor and creating ball movement.

Starting off with a side pick and roll, the other 3 players space out the floor and keeping ballside corner empty and making the help defense think twice before cheating over too much.


Initiated with a pick and roll on the wing, 1 looks to attack off the pick and roll from 4. If the defense ICES the ballscreen or pushes the ball to the sideline, then 1 can attack the rim or baseline and look to score easily off it since the corner and side is empty.


After the ballscreen, 90% of the time 1 will pass to the 5 man at the top of the key. If the defense hard hedges or pushes high defending the ballscreen then the over the top pass to the 4 man should be open. Normally 5 turns and dribbles at 3 who cuts backdoor to the rim (this option is usually covered well). 2 fills in behind and receives a pass or hand off from 5.


After 3 clears opposite, 5 and 2 can play a 2-man game and run a side pick and roll. Due to a shorter shot clock, the continuity part of this is typically limited to one side, but after it would continue with a reversal to 4 who turns and dribbles at 1 to continue this action.


I enjoy when the Nuggets run this action, because it forces the offense to move the ball and give the opportunity to attack out of the pick and roll. Next week I will show some counters that Mike Malone has run off this action, always keeping the defense from guessing the play & set.