Basketball Icon

Basketball Cuts

What is a cut in basketball? What are the types of cuts I should be able to make on the court? Get ready to learn the basics of cutting in basketball.

Basketball Cuts

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 Cut

Basketball Cutting Steps

When performing a cut, you should perform the following steps for the best results:

  1. Choose a type of cut to perform based on the defense.
  2. Surprise the other player with a fake move
  3. Use your momentum, speed, and quickness to find an opening on the court

IMPORTANT: When making a cut, be careful not to draw a foul by being overly aggressive with an opposing player. You don't want to be called for charging.

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:


To perform a v-cut, literally make a V-shape on the court. Move your body in the first half or leg of the V-shape and then quickly with the second half.

Basketball V-Cut


To perform an l-cut, make an L-shape on the court by running straight towards the net and then right or left completing the shape of the letter.

Front Cut

To perform a front cut, pass the ball to a teammate and run towards the basket for an open pass.

Back 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.

Basketball Back Cut

Backdoor Cut

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.

Deep Cut

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.

Basketball Baseline

Curl Cut

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.

Basketball Screen

Flare Cut

A flare cut is like a curl cut, except you should extend the cut by moving towards the corners as you curl around a defensive player.

Basketball Corner


To perform a UCLA cut, pass the ball to a player on the perimeter and post up for an easy layup as a teammate performs a screen. The UCLA cut was invented by John Wooden, a coach from UCLA.

Basketball Post Up

You can learn more about posting up in Basketball Posting Up.

Flash Cut

To perform a flash cut move, you should post up to the low blocks. Flash cuts are great for post players that play close to the net.

Basketball Low Block

Shallow Cut

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.

Basketball Wing

Basketball Zone

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 Zone

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.

Basketball Man To Man

Search Results