Cutting off Staggered Screens

A “Staggered Screen” is where two offensive players set a screen for the one cutter. With a “double screen” the two players stand next to each other, with a “staggered screen” the offensive players are progressively in the path which the cutter intends to cut along.

In this example, the staggered screens will be set by the two post players – there are many ways that a staggered screen can be incorporated into offensive movement.

As 3 cuts off each screen, they “read” the defence. If, for example, their defender “trailed” (followed behind) as they cut off 5’s screen, they would curl to the basket.

Similarly, if the defender goes “under” one of the screens, 3 may flare to the perimeter (not shown).

The two screeners move to positions to also receive the ball after the cutter has moved.

Here, 1 makes a “straight cut” and:

  • 3 (first screen) – “pops” to the perimeter
  • 2 (second screen) – “dives” to the basket

Here, 1 makes a “back cut”, so neither screener cuts to the basket. Instead, both “pop” to the perimeter.

Similarly, if the cutter “curl cuts” (whether on the first or second screen), both screeners “pop” to the perimeter.

The first screener can also cut to the basket, particularly if the cutter flares to the wing (as there is no space for the screener to “pop”).

3 Pass Double Screen Activity

A good activity to practice cutting off staggered double screens is to have 3 passers and either 0, 1, 2 or 3 defenders. Each passer is assigned someone to pass to, regardless of whether that person cuts to the basket or the perimeter.