with Coach Justin Rake
Contact Us
Crossover Dribble and Shot
Crossover Dribble and Shot

The cross-over dribble has become a staple for all great perimeter scorers. These great scorers make it look easy, but see how much goes into this important shot.

Shot Off a Screen
Shot Off a Screen

The screen when set effectively will always create some problems in a defense. This will allow a brief opportunity to take an open shot. See how we do it in this video.

Pull Up Jump Shot
Pull Up Jump Shot

Often the best shot a basketball player will get is before the opposing team's defense can set up. Watch this video to see everything that goes into this shot.

Shooting the Runner
Shooting the Runner

The runner in the lane can be a great way for a smaller player to attack the basket. See how it's done in this video.

One Dribble Control Drill
One Dribble Control Drill

When taking a shot off the dribble that final dribble into the shot pocket will be the most important. Watch in this video an excellent drill to work on this.

Coach Rake

Add the Basketball Jab Step to Aggressively Get Open

The basketball jab step is a move that every basketball player who considers himself a good shooter must have. It works especially well for getting open against especially aggressive defenders, but as I explain in the video there are some important things you must do to make it work. Check out this video to see how I do it, and then how Carmelo Anthony does it.

 

 

images (1)

The first thing you must do well when executing the jab step is to protect the basketball. Because the defender is so close to you if the basketball is exposed at all he is going to reach in and knock it away. But at the same time the ball has to be in the position to quickly go up for the shot or put the ball on the hardwood to drive around your defender. So when doing this basketball move properly protecting the basketball is vital.

The second part involves proper footwork, and in the video you’ll see how this has to be accomplished. First you must have a stable base so you are able to go in various directions with complete balance. After all of the preparation has been made you have to jab step to make it look like you are going to drive. If it’s done too quickly you won’t be able to get your defender out of position, and if it’s done too slowly your defender will be able to recover back to his sound defensive position.

Learning the jab step is a wonderful basketball move that every shooter must have.

Flare Screen for the Open Jump Shot

The flare screen is an excellent way to get open when the defender takes away your curl cut. It takes vision and decision-making, but is a great tool. When a basketball player wants to get open, using vision will help a lot more than trying to simply run faster.  This video will show you how to do it.

The flare is a read you will make when coming off a down screen or when using a flare screen. Defenders have two choices (well technically three, but running through a defender is a foul, so not recommended): they can either take the inside route or follow you around the screen. Both have advantages and disadvantages and both have counters that you can use as the offensive player. If the defender follows you, your best bet is to do a curl-cut toward the middle of the floor.

download

The other option is when the defender takes the inside route, and you will counter this by flaring out for the shot. A flare is reading the defender and when they go to the inside of the person setting a screen for you, instead of curling to the middle, you stop and flare (move away from the ball) as far as you can. The defender will then have a farther distance to travel and if someone can get you the ball, you’ll be wide open for the shot.

Follow the Basketball to get an Open Look

If you know how to following the basketball to get an open look on the court you might be surprised how many open shots it will create.  Here are a few things you have to know to do it effectively. Check out this video to see how.

 

The follow is the opposite of a drift. You never want to stand around in basketball because that makes the job of the defense a whole lot easier. To do the follow properly you must read the defense when you’re on the floor. When someone is dribbling away from you, they are vacating the spot they were just at. It’s important to keep proper spacing on the floor and never isolate one guy away from his teammates. If your teammate gets in trouble, they will need someone to move the ball to or risk a turnover.
images

This is where the follow can come in handy. As I said before, once your teammate dribbles away from you, a vacant spot becomes open. The defense will shift depending on where the ball is. Usually when someone dribbles away from you, your defender will go into help side in order to defend against penetration to the basket. All you do from there is sprint to the open spot that your teammate left and if the defense reacts too late, you have an easy jump shot or a driving lane to the basket.

Getting Open by Setting the Back Screen

 

Often if you really want to get open, set a screen for a teammate. Setting screens, especially if they are set effectively and catch the defender by surprise, can cause absolute havoc with any team, no matter the strength of that defense. But watch this video to see how you can create your own shot by trying to get your teammate open by setting the back screen.

 

There is nothing like setting a good back screen. Setting a nice, hard screen on some poor, unsuspecting defender is one of the best offensive moves in basketball. First off, it confuses the defender that gets screened because he had no idea it’s coming. After getting hit, that defender will frantically search for their man because if their man scores, that could mean a significant time sitting on the bench. For the player that set the screen, his defender has to help. This leaves the person setting the screen wide open for a jump shot.

download

I love doing this move in pick-up basketball because defenders just can’t react fast enough to stop me. The move is simple enough. Start near the rim and pick out a defender who is somewhere near the wing. Once that defender has their back turned, run up behind them and come to a stop. Hopefully, your teammate will cut back door (if not, you might have to give out a friendly, but loud reminder). After this, you want to locate the ball as quickly as you can because you will only have a short window to get open. If done correctly, you can cause chaos for the defense, but wide open shots for yourself.

Basketball Screen Pick and Pop

The basketball screen pick and pop is a staple of NBA players because it is very hard to defend. The player setting the screen, often a big player, must be a legitimate threat two knock down a jump shot from some range.  Check out this video as I demonstrate how to do it the right way.

 

The pick ‘n pop became popular as an alternative to the pick ‘n roll. A good pick and roll was good for the players who were strong enough to finish around the basketball. A pick and pop has the same motion as the pick and roll, but instead of rolling to the basketball, the player doing the screening will “pop away” from the ball for a jump shot.

index

This move is very popular for the tall European players who love to shoot 3-point shots. It doesn’t have to be a tall player screening for a guard, though. Guards can set the screen and pop out for shots as well and even create mismatches off the screen. It is imperative that you read the defense, however. If the defensive player involved does what is called a switch (basically meaning they exchange who they are defending), then that immediately takes away the pop. Only if the player guarding you starts guarding the ball will this move have any chance of working. It’s just another weapon in your arsenal if you can execute it.

Curl Cut to get open for the Jump Shot

A great way to come off the screen to receive a pass for your jump shot is the curl cut. The curl cut to get open will give you the most options to make a play, and with proper decision-making can make it very difficult for your opponent to defend.  See how you can make it part of your game with this video.

 

The curl cut is one of the fundamental cuts in basketball and one that I teach first to most of my young students. In basketball, the best place to catch the ball is somewhere near the middle of the floor because it opens up the most options. In the middle of the floor, you can go left or right with your pass or dribble in multiple directions, and it is also very hard to get doubled teamed by the defense there.

moving-without-the-basketball-image010

To do a proper curl cut, you have to set up your defender first. This means jogging toward your defender in order to make contact with them. Defenses are always reactionary and even if they know what you’re going to do, they can’t move until you move. After you make contact, wait for your teammate to set you a screen. You want to nudge your defender and explode (which means start sprinting) toward the outside shoulder of your teammate. As you pass your teammate, you want to make sure you rub shoulders, so the defender cannot get into the passing lane to intercept the pass. Now you want to curl toward the middle of the floor and receive the pass.

What you do after that is up to you, and primarily will depend on how the defense decides to play you. You can shoot it if you’re open, pass it if someone else is open or drive to the basket.

Drift to Get Open Video for Your Jump Shot

 

There are a lot of ways great shooters in basketball get open for their jump shot. Watch this drift to get open video to see just how you do this to get it right. Notice how you just keep moving in conjunction with the movement of the ball, but you should also always keep in mind that you must be in a position where the ball-handler can see you and can easily pass you the ball. It is not the ball-handlers responsibility to create a lane for the pass to be completed, but yours.

The drift is a read off of what the ball handler is doing. When you’re working off the ball in basketball, you want to make sure you keep the floor spaced, which means never being too close to one of your teammates (unless you’re setting a screen). You only have so much space to work with in the half court and if you are caught standing too close to one of your teammate, especially the one who’s dribbling the ball, you could disrupt the flow of the offense plus make your team easy to defend.

Baseline-Drive-Baseline-Drift

A drift is used when your teammate is making a move toward the basket. You want to keep even with the level of the ball as it is very difficult for most players to throw the ball behind them on the move. As your teammate makes his move, you slide down toward the baseline with your hands in position and ready to catch the ball. If you’re defender leaves to go stop the ball, you’ll be wide open and be in the perfect position for the ball handler to pass you the ball. It also give you’re ball handler someone to throw it too if they get in trouble.

Variety of ways to make the Reverse Layup

Around the basket can become rather congested and it may take some creativity to put the shot past tall defenders. Their are a variety of ways to make the reverse layup, and this video shows a variety of ways to use the backboard to get shots off near the basket.

 

Add a Reverse Layup to the Around-the-Basket Repertoire

Reverse layups have a lot of different purposes but the main one is to not get blocked by people who are taller or may be more athletic. You’re basically using the rim as a way to keep big guys from blocking your shot. Shot blockers, even the best ones really are anticipating where the shot is coming from when it goes toward the basket. They see the angle that the shooter is taking and anticipate where he wants to take the shot from. If you have several different places from which you will launch the ball from on your layup it will be harder to anticipate.

Another trick that you want to know how to do is to put the basketball high off the glass. The best way to practice this drill is by going back and forth and doing reverse layups on both sides. This is basically an extension of the old “George Mikan drill”. If you’re going on the right side you want to make sure that you’re using the same footwork as you would for right-handed layup and on the left side the same for a left-hand layup. You also want to be able to jump as high as you can just to give the ball a shorter distance to travel.

When you take this shot make sure that you use the backboard because it gives you a little bit of leeway in case you go a little off target.

Shooting the Basketball Bank Shot

Using the backboard when shooting the basketball is a lost art, but understanding how you should be shooting the basketball bank shot will definitely increase your shooting percentages from certain parts of the floor. Check out this video to see how it’s done.

 

The Lost Art- The Basketball Bank Shot

A lost art in the game of basketball is using the backboard on a jump shot. Most people might think of using the backboard as a shot following a post move, and it’s great for that. But it can also be used by guards when they are taking tough shots in the mid-range. Most good bank shooters like to take this shot within 10 to 15 feet and close to a 45° angle and you just want to shoot it like a regular jump shot.

It’s good to put a little bit of arc on the basketball because you just want to gently knock it off the board where it has the best chance to go in. If you shoot it too hard it is likely to ricochet wildly off the other side. You will hear some old-time basketball people call it the “kiss” off the glass. That will give you an idea of how softly the ball should be shot.

There is no real trick or secret to making bank shots other than it just takes a lot of practice and repetition. But if you dedicate the time to it this shot can pay huge dividends in games, because by becoming proficient with the bank shot your shooting percentages from certain areas on the floor will increase dramatically.

Shimmy Move to Freeze Your Defender in Basketball

Often just a small move will give you space to shoot your jump shot. This move, called the shimmy, is designed to freeze your defender for just an instant. The shimmy move to freeze your defender in basketball will allow you a bit of room, and if you have a quick release on your jump shot that’s all you need.

 

The Shimmy Move- Subtle but Effective

This move is basically a hesitation move with some flare. As you’re dribbling you want to hesitate by slowing down and making your defender think you’re going to put a move on him. As you are hesitating slightly rock your shoulders back and forth to give the impression that you might cross over but instead simply pull up for the jump shot. The key to this move is using your shoulders and your upper body to make the defender hesitates for a second. You just want to keep your defender off-balance enough for you to get clear for your jump shot.

What’s difficult about this move is that it is so quick and so subtle that maybe the casual observer will never even see you do it. What’s important is that the defender sees you doing it and any subtle move that you do with your shoulders, your chest or your feet will be seen and reacted to. Remember, the game as you advance becomes very quick, so that defender knows he has to react quickly to any movement that you should make. You’re just giving that defender a slight move and let them react to it.

So again make sure that you are practicing this move on your own but also trying it against other people. Experiment with it to see just how much shoulder shake to use. A good person to watch use this move is Kevin Durant.

Europe vs USA Basketball
Europe vs USA Basketball

In this eBook Europe vs America- Differences in how a Basketball Game is Played, Coach Justin Rake describes some of these differences, and then demonstrates with videos how teams like the San Antonio Spurs are making this part of their attack.

Basketball Shooting off the Dribble
Basketball Shooting off the Dribble

All great scorers have to be able to shoot off the dribble. Here's how.

Moving Without the Basketball
Moving Without the Basketball

Before every shooter gets to pull the trigger on his deadly shot he has to get open. This book demonstrates how.

Basketball Advanced Shooting
Basketball Advanced Shooting

Basketball Advanced Shooting builds off the previous book of Basketball Shooting Fundamentals to demonstrate ways to create space for the shot.

Basketball Shooting Fundamentals
Basketball Shooting Fundamentals

This book discusses basics for a picture-perfect jump shot. These basic concepts are supported visually with links to videos.

What Young Basketball Players Need to Know
What Young Basketball Players Need to Know

This book is a primer for young basketball players and their parents on what they need to do to become successful in the game of basketball.