top of page
  • Writer's pictureCoach Hueser


Ninety percent of the game is without the ball. Thus, you must learn how to move without the ball to get open. In doing so, consider the three things you can do on offense: 1) move the basketball, 2) move people and 3) screen. The first step in playing hard-to-guard is to move people, also known as cutting. Two basic cuts without the ball are a front cut and a back cut. More specific movements are the following:

1. V-cut and/or L-cut is a hard step or steps (2-step rule) taken in the opposite direction you intend to go. Angle of Return Rule: Take your defender away and when you return, cut across his path. In doing so, vary your speed (go in slow, come out fast).

2. Blast cut is a direct sprint to fill an unoccupied spot on the floor (i.e. wing to key). Such a cut is important to ensure floor balance and ball reversal options.

3. Basket cut often occurs after you pass to a teammate. Set your defender up with one or two steps (2-step rule) away from the ball, and then face cut your defender to the basket. If he takes this away, back cut!

4. Cut and replace yourself is also an option after passing the ball. If your defender sags too much and jams your cut to the basket, simply replace yourself.

5. Screening for a teammate is another excellent way to get open. Simply roll and seal, pick and pop, or slip the pick properly. Good players continuously look to screen for their teammates.

With all of this said, there is an art to the great ones getting open. You might say it's in the details. We like to use the acrostic S.A.M.

  • Spacing- Always maintain proper distance between you and your teammates as well as your opponent.

  • Angles- It’s important to cut at angles and create proper screening angles.

  • Momentum- Use your opponent’s own quickness (mo) to work against him and change up your speeds.

J.J. Redick has sustained his career in the NBA by perfecting the acrostic "SAM" to get open. Here are a few clips to illustrate what I am talking about.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page