Newsletter #138

July 16, 2018


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Today's Quote:  "It doesn't matter who scores the points, it's who can get the ball to the scorer." - Larry Bird

Today's Theme... Faking and Cutting

Good scorers find ways to get open for a 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, using and setting good screens, and maintaining good spacing.

Faking is an important skill that is often overlooked and not taught. Good faking is an important key in just about every offensive basketball skill, whether it is an on-ball perimeter or post move, or making a pass, or cutting. A fake simply is a deception or decoy move to throw the defender off balance, or get him leaning the wrong way just long enough so the offensive player can gain a step or two on him, or so a passer can open up the passing lane.

Legendary coach Bob Knight has often said that the two most important and most undertaught offensive weapons are the shot-fake and the pass-fake.

The shot-fake is a great move when the defender is flying out (closing out) on you on the perimeter.  With a good shot-fake, the defender jumps and you go around for a one-dribble jump-shot, or a dribble-drive to the hoop.  The shot-fake is also an important move for post players.  Use a "pump-fake" to get the defender in the air.

The pass-fake is also a very important essential fundamental.  Look the defender away. It's been said, "fake a pass to make a pass" - example: fake an overhead pass, and make a bounce pass. 

See this for more details:  Cutting and Faking

How to make a good cut:

1. A key in making an effective cut is timing.  Time your cut, so you arrive at the correct time to receive the pass.

2. Make a good fake and cut hard. Often I see players make a quick fake, followed by a slow, lazy cut.  Do just the opposite... make a slow, sleepy fake followed by a quick cut.  A quick, strong first step is key.

3. This is another important tip: players often try to avoid contact with the defender.  Instead, go at the defender and make contact, then quickly "bounce off" in the direction of your cut.

Type of Cuts

  • Front-Cut
  • Back-Cut
  • V-Cut
  • L-Cut
  • Curl-Cut
  • Button-hook
  • Banana-Cut
  • Shallow-Cut
  • Deep (Basket) Cut
  • Fade (Flare) Cut
  • I-Cut
  • Flash-Cut
  • Flex-Cut
  • UCLA-Cut
  • Shuffle-Cut

See this page for details and diagrams regarding all of these cuts:

Cutting and Faking

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