There are 10 players on the floor. Only one player has the ball. That means that 90% of time, you won't have the ball, and that only 10% of the time you may actually have the ball (a little less for post players, a little more for guards). So you have a limited number of opportunities to score from an individual move when you are the ball-handler. Good scorers find ways to get open for an easy pass from a teammate, and an easy shot off the pass reception. Good scorers never just stand around and watch. They are always trying to find ways to get open by coming off screens, or faking and cutting to open areas of the floor (within their shooting range). The keys are timing, cutting to open areas, setting good screens, and maintaining good spacing. In regard to cutting, there is a saying "get open, or get out!", which means that if you are not open, or don't receive the ball within a couple seconds, move out and maintain motion and spacing. Passing is easier if offensive players maintain a spacing of 12 to 15 feet apart. Don't get bunched up.
Legendary coach Bob Knight has often said that the two most important and undertaught offensive weapons are the shot-fake and the pass-fake.
A good passer can "look" the defender off his receiver by looking the opposite way that he intends to pass... example: look left, pass right on a fast break.
Fakes can be a simple "look away", or can be as subtle as moving your eyes opposite the way you want to pass, or cut. A fake can be a jab step to get the defender leaning, and then you move quickly in the opposite direction. You can fake with a shrug of your shoulders, or a bob of your head in the opposite direction that you plan to cut. You can use a "sleep fake", where you pretend you are winded and tired, and you bend over with your hands on your knees, like you are catching your breath... the defender relaxes too, and suddenly you make your hard, quick cut. You can use a verbal fake... yell the ball-handler's name loudly and wave your arms to get the defender (who is help-side defense sagging toward the paint) to come out on you. That may open up the lane for a clean cut by a teammate. In this case you don't actually get the ball, but you made the lane available for your teammate to cut through. Have a team agreement... if you yell "ball!" you really want the ball, if you yell a name, it's a decoy. To be a good faker, you need a little acting ability!
2. Make a good fake and cut hard. Often I see kids make a quick fake, and then a somewhat slow cut. Do just the opposite... make a slow, sleepy fake followed by a quick cut move.
3. This is another important tip: kids often try to avoid contact with the defender and try to run away from him. In trying to get open, go right up to the defender and make contact with him, then quickly "bounce off" in the direction of your cut. He won't be able to react fast enough to your quick first step.In addition to the cut moves described below, don't forget this move: slip behind the defender (who may be in "deny" and over-playing the passing lane) and move below him toward the baseline. The defender should always see the ball. Try to slip out of his field of vision, so that he loses you briefly... then you can get open.
|Types of Cuts
The front cut is a cut made with the defender behind you, on your back. This is the typical "give and go" cut (see Diagram A, FC). See front cut video clip.
Jam-Down, Back Cut