In Training Proper cutting movements are one of the most under-taught skills in our youth programs. A lot of the time coaches don’t worry about teaching proper cutting to their players, they say it will ‘come naturally’ with time. Well I’m here to tell you it won’t. At least not proper cutting. Cutting that will get your players open when ever they wish during a game. Players need to learn how to get open on their
own. They’re not always going to be able to use a screen to get them open for a pass. Sometimes they’re going to have to do it in isolation. That’s what we as coaches need to teach them how to
do. Players like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen can score 30 points a game without taking a single dribble just because they’ve mastered the art of reading the defense and then using the appropriate cut to get them open for the pass.
In this article I’m going to describe and show you
the 10 most common cuts in basketball.
1. Backdoor Cut
The backdoor cut
is used when the defender is over-playing in the
passing lane denying the pass. Depending on
your offence, this will leave a big hole to cut into
between. If you are being denied the pass you will
be able to 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
V-cuts are the
most common type of cut and are mostly
used when on the perimeter in isolation when you
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.
L-cuts are a great
way to get open on the perimeter when starting
on the block.
This cut doesn’t require the offensive player to be
quick, rather this cut will be most effective if
good footwork is used and good use of the body.
Take the defender up to the elbow, get your top
foot over theirs, give a small nudge to create
space, and lead directly out to the wing while
calling for the ball.
4. Curl Cut
The curl cut is
executing a curl around a screen.
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.
5. 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.
6. Deep Cut
A deep cut involves the player on one side of the
floor to cut baseline behind everyone and to the
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
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Flash Cut
A flash cut is a
quick, explosive cut made by a post player to the