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Basketball Coach's Corner

Basketball Tip

Presented by Pete Rivas, Camp Director
Snow Valley California Basketball Schools - Westmont College

Coaches Playbook: Advanced Cuts in Basketball

Coach's playbook to help improve basketball skills

Once your players have mastered V-Cuts and L-Cuts, it is now time to start introducing cuts that are more advanced and technical. As your players grow together over the years, they will start to understand proper spacing and movement on the court, but this knowledge can be learned at a much faster rate through excellent coaching. Advanced cuts require the implementation of speed, agility and court awareness which are all things to keep in mind as you teach these to your team. Here are four advanced cuts from Pete Rivas, director of Nike Basketball Camps in Southern California.

1. Long Blast Cut

The long blast cut is usually utilized when teams are running a five out motion offense or if there is a need for floor balance caused by improper spacing. In the first diagram, you see the defender (3) playing the offensive player (2) flat. This creates a great opportunity for 2 to quickly beat 3 to the opposite wing to balance the floor out. This cut will require a cross court sprint and once arrived at the wing, 2 will need to have their hands ready to receive the ball in the open space.

2. Short Blast Cut

The Short Blast Cut is used very similarly to the long blast cut however the position on the court will vary slightly and the movement will be much more brief. In most dribble drive offenses like this one, there is a need for improved spacing because the court is heavily congested on the right side, see diagram 2. The defender (3) is positioned inside the arc, keeping their distance from (2). 2 must recognize the need for a short, fast movement towards the ball handler (1). Once 2 receives the ball, the entire left side of the court is most likely open to either dribble towards or to pass so make sure your players always keep their heads up to analyze the options they have available to them.

3. Baseline Back Cut

The Baseline Back cut requires the ball handler (1) and cutter (2) to have constant eye contact. If 1 decides to initiate this cut, they must dribble slowly into the key and 2 will then take a step away from the baseline and turn quickly towards the rim. 1 must remember that the bounce pass is best used around the post area or a few steps from the basket. Timing is critical during this cut as a pass any sooner or later will create a problem for the cutters footwork and may lead to an offensive turnover.

4. Single Gap Cut

The Single Gap Cut requires constant eye between 1 and 2, just like the baseline back cut, yet this can be completed from any spot on the floor. Once the eye contact is initiated, 1 will need to perform a leading bounce pass to 2 as they enter the key and leave the defender (3) behind them, this specific cut is great for quick lay ups.

Add these four advanced cuts to your coaching playbook and your players will improve immensely! Help your players learn more offensive tips like these by sending them to a basketball camp near you.

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