Backdoor Cut Basketball

Even though basketball is a fluid game that can go minutes without stoppages, there are still plays run. One of those plays is a backdoor cut.  A backdoor cut in basketball is a type of cut where an offensive player moves quickly away from the basket and then towards it to be open on the court. The idea is to lose the defender and be wide open for the easiest shot in basketball, a layup.

How to Execute a Backdoor Cut in Basketball

In order for a backdoor cut to be successful, the offensive player has to sell his cut away from the basket. The defender needs to believe that the offensive player is trying to run out to the three point line. If that is accomplished, the offensive player can then come back to the open space that has been created. In order to sell the cut, the offensive player must sprint as fast as possible. A defender will not fall for a halfhearted jog. After the defender is sold, the offensive player must stop on a dime and head back the way they came, if the stop is sloppy the defender might be able to catch up and shut down the play.  

When it is Used

Backdoor cuts are most effective when the defense is playing a zone defense. A zone defense is when the defense marks areas on the court rather than players. The reason why it is successful in this scenario is that the defenders are not keeping an eye on each individual offensive player.

It is also used in basketball games when the offense needs to put points on the board quickly. It is a quick-hitting play.


There are obvious advantages to running a backdoor cut; you are able to score points and do so quickly. On top of that is that it gives you openings in other areas of the game. If the defense starts to guard against a backdoor cut, it leaves space on the perimeter for potential open three pointers. Adjusting to the adjustments the other team makes is crucial in order to win a basketball game.