Players: Here’s the situation: Season has begun and you find yourself wanting to bring something to your team that can immediately affect the outcome of the game. But you don’t time to acquire a new skill like shooting, or point-guard-dribbling-abilities, or ten more pounds of muscle. (Those kind of things take time – usually off-season time.)
So, what can you bring RIGHT NOW that does not take time, training, and repetition to acquire?! What can you bring to today’s practice or today’s game simply by making a focused effort to actually “bring it”?
CUT HARD! Be the hardest cutting player on the floor. Cut with a purpose – as if your cut determines the outcome of the game.
What kind of cuts?
- When you pass the ball East-West and then make a basket cut North-South, explode as if it were the entire reason for you being on the floor! If you do, you stand a good chance of getting the ball back and scoring. But you’ll also draw a lot of attention and create space for your teammates to drive to the goal – something we Read & Reactors call a Draft Drive!
Many players put more effort into cutting AWAY from the goal (to get open on the perimeter) than they do cutting TOWARD the goal for two points!
- If you’re going to fill out to the perimeter after being inside, then cut hard with a purpose! At the very least, you’ll drag your defender away from the middle of the floor where they can help on your teammates!
- When Dribbled-At, cut hard! Same reason.
- When you take a Read Line, cut hard! Same reason.
- When you Curl the Puppydog, cut hard! Same reason.
- When you set the Ball Screen, cut hard – don’t give the defense time to communicate!
- When you flash to the open seam against a zone, cut hard! Those windows are only open for a brief moment.
- On in-bound plays, cut hard! You only have 4.5 seconds.
It sounds like I want you to cut hard all of the time! I do, but only when you decide to cut. You can’t play the entire game at one speed. This is not a game about who’s the fastest. The most effective players are those that can change speeds, change directions and manage spacing. CUTTING HARD involves recognizing a spacing advantage, changing directions, and changing speeds!
It’s just easier to say: “CUT HARD!”