Inside the play: Belmont inbounds play
This play will illustrate another example of where the play is successful thanks to the defense putting too much focus on the player receiving the screen, while neglecting to pay attention the screener. Again, the defense is set up to stop the play but the help defense covers the wrong player, leaving the lane open and the rim unprotected.
Belmont starts by fading the strong side block player back to the elbow. The wing player then comes to set a screen for the block player, who will use it to replace the screener on the wing and look for a jump shot. As you watch the play, keep an eye on the defense. The man guarding the screener hedges hard on the screen, which is a great strategy, but we see the help defender (the man guarding the inbounder) getting too far out of position and leaving the rim open.
The following frame is a good shot of the mistake by the defender. I like the strategy to play with the back to the inbounder to take away cutters. However, he should be focusing on taking away cutters in the paint, not on the wing. The hedge of the screen can break up that action which would allow the help defender to take away the screener rolling to the basket.
You can see here the space that is open in the lane due to the defender vacating the paint to help on the player flashing to the wing. With nobody guarding the inbounds player, that leaves an open passing lane for the inbounder, which means the pass and score is easily executed, as there is nobody pressuring either player.
It’s interesting that we have seen this same mistake made several times over the past few weeks. I can’t stress the following enough: Not face guarding the inbounder and taking away cutters is the ideal strategy to defend these types of plays but the defender has to stay at home and take away the screener rolling to the rim. With the defense switching or hedging on any screens, the man using the screen is not going to be a threat, the screener is going to be the one that is open. That is why the help defender needs to stay at home and protect the rim, to fully defend an inbounds play of this nature.