A cut in basketball is a sudden move or change of direction on the court to avoid a defensive player with the intent of getting open on the floor. Cutting is especially useful in one on one situations when your team sets you up for an isolation play. Cutting is different from screens, because screens utilize multiple players while cutting is more of a one on one strategy.
Basketball Cutting Steps
When performing a cut, you should perform the following steps for the best results:
- Choose a type of cut to perform based on the defense.
- Surprise the other player with a fake move
- Use your momentum, speed, and quickness to find an opening on the court
Cut Types In Basketball
There are lots of cut types in basketball. Here is a list of the basic types of cuts players should know:
- Front cut
- Back cut
- Backdoor cut
- Deep cut
- Curl cut
- Drive cut
- Flare cut
- UCLA cut
- Flash cut
- Shallow cut
To perform a back cut, fake your movement in one direction and then quickly cut the other direction behind the player's back towards the net.
Backdoor cuts are similar to back cuts. To perform a backdoor cut, move behind the defensive player while he is focused on protecting against the pass play.
To perform a deep cut, pass the ball to a teammate and run a far distance around the three-point arc or along the baseline to evade a defensive player. The faster you move the more likely chance you'll get open on the court.
A curl cut is exactly what it sounds like. To perform a curl cut, move around a defensive player as a teammate sets up a screen.
You can learn more about posting up in Basketball Posting Up.
To perform a shallow cut, move into the position of the dribbler as he takes your old position. Shallow cuts are great for players that play on the wings since they can switch which side of the court they're on.
When the defense is playing zone, there are certain cuts that work better than playing man to man defense. The cuts that are best against zone defense are V-cuts, L-cuts, and flare cuts since defensive players are likely to stay in their zones and not be as quick to match your speed and movement.
Basketball Man To Man
When the defense is playing man to man, there are certain cuts that work better than playing zone. The cuts that are best against zone defense are back cuts, backdoor cuts, deep cuts, and flare cuts, since defensive players will be unable to match your aggressive movement around the court.