Kyle Ohman is the co-creator of Basketballhq.com a basketball training website designed for coaches and players. He was a thousand point scorer at Liberty University (div. 1), was ranked the 19th best shooter in the country by Fox Sports going into his senior year. Kyle has also played professionally in Spain. Most recently he coached a high school team out of Brandon, FL that played on a national level and beat the 12th ranked team in the nation. Coach Kyle has a promising career in the basketball industry as a coach and an individual trainer.
If you look at some of the undersized players in the NBA today that are great at finishing around the basket like Manu Ginobili, Rajon Rondo, Steve Nash, etc., you will see that the reason they finish so well over bigger players is because they have a variety of different finishes they can use. A lot of their moves are very crafty and awkward for a shot blocker to time up. Although it helps to be 6'8 and athletic when finishing around the rim you don't have to be great at it. You just need to know the right moves and be able to execute them.
Below there are six different types of finishes that can be very effective around the basket. There are some more basic moves like a layup, floater, etc. that won't be covered because most coaches and players are already familiar with them. The basketball moves presented here will be a little more difficult, but once learned and developed they will be great additions to your offensive moves arsenal. The reason that most of these finishes are named after specific players is because those players have perfected the move and are known for using this type of finish very well.
Rondo Fake Finish
Rajon Rondo is usually a pass first point guard but when he does get in by the basket he is most likely going to use a crafty finish over an athletic finish. The perfect time to use this move is when you are driving to the basket and have gotten a half step on your defender. You have the defender on your hip and they are trying to get back in front of you or are trying to time your shot up to block it. The fake works so well because you are using the defenders natural instinct of trying to block the shot against themselves.
Euro Step Finish
Manu Ginobili or James Harden are the players most known for using the Euro step move. This is a great move to use if you are in transition or if a defender is setting up in front of you to take a charge. To make this move work you need to really sell that you are going one way and sharply cut back laterally the other way. Also it is important that you protect the ball as you sidestep the defender.
Pro Hop Finish
The pro hop is another good move for avoiding a charge or messing up the timing of a shot blocker. Basketball is a game of deception and with this move it is no different. You must make the defender think that you are going one way, before you pro hop across their face, and finish on the opposite side. This is a move that is most commonly used by NBA players and that is why it is called the pro hop finish.
Jamal Crawford Finish
This finish may be the most difficult of the moves to learn and master. The reason it is so difficult is because you are making two side to side moves in a row while also making a crossover, between the legs, or behind the back move with the basketball. It is also a difficult move because a lot of younger players have a tendency to land 1-2 with their feet which is a travel, instead of on two feet at the same time which is not.
Kobe Bryant Pound Pivot Finish
Kobe has numerous pivot moves and he is probably the best player in the world at using a pivot move to get shot off. This is just one of his more basic moves but it is a very good move to use if you are being guarded by a player who has a tendency to try and block shots. Just like with the Rondo fake finish you need to get the defender on your hip, plant your back pivot foot, let them fly by, and then pivot around for an open shot.
Steve Nash Back Leg Finish
Steve Nash might be the most impressive player at finishing around the basket. The reason he is so impressive is because even as he gets older and loses some of his quickness and athleticism he still seems to be able to get his shot off with ease. For this move all you need is a half step on your opponent and when you feel that their momentum will carry them too far forward; stop on a dime, lean backwards onto your back leg, and raise up for a little one foot shot.