Tony Hobbs

10 Must Know Basketball Cuts

May 17, 2017

This week we will discuss basketball cuts something that all players should have in their basketball toolbox. The game of basketball is about space and angles. The ability to understand basketball cuts & reads is the difference maker in a great scorer.

In this blog post I will breakdown the different basketball cuts you can use in a game.

10 Must Know Basketball Cuts:

  1. Backdoor Cut

The backdoor cut is used when the defender is over-playing in the passing lane denying the pass. Depending on your offense, this will leave a big hole to cut into between. If you are being denied the pass you will be able to backdoor cut backdoor-cut

The biggest problem with backdoor cuts is that it requires great passing skills by the person with the ball to result in an easy lay-up. This is why it is not a common pass in youth basketball. The lack of passing skills results in many turnovers. For the backdoor cut to be most effective your players must set their defender up and have a quick change-of-direction and explode towards the basket.

  1. V-Cut

V-cuts are the most common type of cut and are mostly used when on the perimeter in isolation when you need to get open for a pass.

V-cutting requires body-to-body contact by players. They are executed by walking the defender a couple of feet inside the 3-point line, planting your foot, and then exploding out to receive the ball.
It works because the defense’s reaction time won’t be quick enough to stop the player from receiving the pass.

  1. L-Cut

The cut is the same as the V cut but lets you move further around the perimeter to receive the ball.

  1. Curl Cut

The curl cut is executing a curl around a screen.curl-cut

This cut relies on the offensive player reading his defender. If the defense follows around the screen, then a curl cut is the best option to receive an open lay-up. But if the defense cheats on the screen and goes over it, then the best cut would be the next one on the list, the flare cut.

  1. Flare Cut

The curl cut and flare cut go hand-in-hand.

When the defender cheats on a curl and tries to cut it off, players should flare out to the corner.

  1. Deep Cut

A deep cut involves the player on one side of the floor to cut baseline behind everyone and to the other side.

This cut is used a lot against zone defenses because often the defense doesn’t see the player cutting if they’re pre-occupied with the ball and other players.

  1. UCLA Cut

The UCLA cut got its name because it was popularized by UCLA legendary coach John Wooden.

It involves a player at the top of the key making a pass to a perimeter player and then cutting directly to the block off a high post screen. If performed properly, this cut often leads to an open lay-up for the cutter.

  1. Front Cut

The front cut involves getting on the ball-side of your opponent.

Usually this is executed by performing a jab step or a small cut behind the defense to get them to move back. Once they do, you cut in front of them closest to the ball.

  1. Shallow Cut

A shallow cut is used when you’re exchanging positions with the person dribbling the ball. This means going underneath them and keeping your defender occupied while they fill the spot that you were in.

  1. Flash Cut

A flash cut is a quick, explosive cut made by a post player to the high post.

Hope this helps with your game intelligence.

Tony Hobbs

Tony Hobbs

Basketball player development instructor with a passion to help improve your basketball training method and game intelligence.

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