Moving w/o the Basketball
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.