NBA Spotlight: Spanish Flavor on the Pick and Roll

NBA Spotlight: Spanish Flavor on the Pick and Roll

NBA Spotlight: The Spain Pick and Roll


As teams begin to light it up from the perimeter and push the tempo, we are seeing groups get very creative with basketballs oldest play. The Spain pick and roll, named after the men’s national team of Spain has popularized this set globally due to its ability to shift a defense out of sorts. Secrets at this level don’t stay hidden for long and this set is now used across the association. We will look at the basics of this action that’s also known as stack and look at how to initiate the attack from various alignments.


———-Spain Regular

In its most basic form, we have a scorer in each corner, our best shooter at the free throw line or nail, and our two man game. After the initial ball-screen takes place, our shooter sets a back-screen on our roll mans defender. Because of this positioning, the shooters defender is forced to guard a situation they have never practice. When done correctly, the results can be lethal.


———-Spain Empty

This action is good for your ball handler to attack with an entire side of the floor to themselves. The other four players need to set hard screens and be prepared to score since the defense will over rotate to stop the ball.


———-Spain Deuces

Another way to use this set is to clear out the lane for your roll man and shooter. As the point guard attacks the strong side of the floor, the wing and corner players screen for each other while the roll man looks for the lob if possible. The skip to the shooter will be open at the top of the key to attack any late closeouts that take place.


———-Spain 25 Ram

This is my favorite variation of the Spain set to use against athletic teams that trap the ball screen. First we look for a screen in transition which can be a down or back screen depending on which defender is helping deeper in the paint. The Ram action basically means that we will screen the ball screener to force his defender to be late to the trap. This is another popular counter at the NBA level to help guards turn the corner and attack downhill. As the player sprints to the ball screen, the rest of the action remains the same.


———-Spain Iverson

Here’s an instance where we can pull a lot of attention away from the ball before the main action. The Iverson cut gets the defense out of position and forces them to focus on the cutters before the drive takes place. The five man movement here is a fun way to open up the floor.


———-Spain Stagger 5

For fans of the Five out motion offense, you’ll enjoy this play. As the team crosses half court, they swing the ball and look for a quick backdoor before it gets to the wing. That cutter should be your best shooter. After forcing the defender to chase his matchup around a staggered screen, that player will then get a re-screen from the five man before flowing into the set. If your driver isn’t a great shooter from deep, then this is for you since it uses a defenders sagging coverage against them by pinning them lower and lower below the free throw line.


———-Horns Spain

The final example involves a Horns or elbow alignment. We start with a cross screen at the elbow to give the posts an easy catch on the move. Once again the five man movement gets the defense out of position by bringing attention away from the ball before the final action arrives.


That does it for NBA Spotlight: Spain Pick and Roll! Feel free to contact me via twitter @KJ_the_scout, or via email at

You can also comment below if you have any questions or would like to see other examples of how this can fit your roster!

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