top of page

Motion Principles


All players should realize the importance of smart, motion basketball. The ball never involves more than three players at one given time. Learning to work and communicate together in such situations is of utmost importance. Thus, we take into consideration the three things you can do on offense: move the basketball, move players (cut), and screen.


2-Man Game


Basket Cut

The basket cut is the foundation of smart, motion basketball. It allows for give-and-go opportunities and helps keep the defense honest. Set your man up (2-step rule) and then cut across his face to the basket. Be sure to carry all of your basket cuts through the rim and then space back out beyond the arc.


Cut & Replace

While attempting to basket cut and the defense jams your path, take your cut away from the ball and look to screen away or relocate.


Backdoor Cut

The backdoor cut is used most often against an aggressive man-to-man defense. The defender over-extends well into the passing lane, and allows you to cut directly to the basket. Consider the following teaching points:

  1. Communicate the cut with a closed fist and/or pass fake.

  2. Don’t fight pressure! Back cut once you near the “level of the ball”.

  3. When your teammate dribbles at you and your defender “peeks”, immediately cut to the basket.

  4. Encourage this pass (off the dribble) to be thrown right off the defender’s hip. This is an advanced, one-handed bounce pass.

  5. If you cut and do not receive the pass: flare (then hand-off), loop or carry your cut though.

  6. If you do catch the pass, beware of late help – make the extra pass and avoid the charge.


The most dangerous player on the floor is the player who just passed the ball!


Pinch the Post

“Pinching the post” is a hard guard. After passing to the high post, cut quickly off of your teammate attempting to receive a hand-off back or serve as a decoy.


Dribble Hand-off

This is a great counter to a sagging defense determined not to allow any back cuts. As you “hand-off”, reverse pivot and butt-screen your teammates’ defender.


Ball Screen

Screen on the ball and execute one of the three reads available (roll, pop or slip).


Dribble Loop

An effective counter versus wing denial pressure is to dribble at your buddy on the wing. He reads this with a back cut (when his defender “peeks”) and loops to fill your vacated spot.


3-Man Game


Screen Away / Down Screen

If the basket cut is the foundation of motion basketball – to screen away, then, is a very important cornerstone. We emphasize squaring your butt to the ball (2-step rule) to ensure the proper screening angle.

Flare Screen

Look to flare screen for good shooters. Square your butt to the sideline corner and screen for your teammate. Maintain wide spacing against switching defenses. This allows you to slip the switch and make the play. Also, take the pass to the flare; and when receiving: get your feet behind the ball.


Split the Post

One of our primary objectives is to feed the post with the low, wrap around bounce pass. In doing so, the passer is taught to screen for the nearest perimeter player. If possible, stay outside the arc. This “splitting” action is very hard to guard and keeps the defense honest.  

Using Screens


First Cut Series

Wait for your teammate’s screen, watch the defense and then cut accordingly:


Straight Cut

  • This “first cut” occurs if your defender runs right into the screen.


Curl Cut

  • If your defender trails you around the screen, curl tight to the basket or open area. Attempt to maintain contact with your teammate for as long as possible.


Flare Cut

  • Flare away from your defender if he gets off and under the screen. Nudge your teammate cueing him to change the angle of his screen. Then back pedal out, ready (10 up / 10 to) to catch and shoot.


Duck Back / Back Cut

  • To duck back is nothing more than back cutting a switch. Prior to "meeting" your new defender, cut backdoor. Remember: Don’t fight pressure.

Reject / Back Cut

  • Do not use the screen when your defender becomes too anxious and attempts to fight over the top. This is also a back cut.


Setting Screens


Second Cut Series

After your teammate uses your screen and makes the first cut, execute a second cut opposite of his cut:



  • Reverse pivot to the basket and seal the defense with your hips and buttocks when your teammate pops-out or flares.



  • After your teammate curls to the basket, step with your outside foot across your body, reverse pivot into a back pedal ready to catch and shoot.



  • Prior to the actual screen, quickly release to the basket or open area. This technique is most effective when your defender begins to “show".



  • Do not fight pressure, simply re-screen. Getting open is all about motion. Remain hard to guard by screening multiple times.

bottom of page