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Lay Ups - 5 Pro Finishing Moves for Guards- - By Joe Haefner
If you are a guard, the importance of being crafty with your finishing moves (lay ups) increases as the competition level increases. Opportunities for straight-line lay ups with the perfect driving angle rarely occur during games. And as the competition level increases, you'll find the same stuff that used to work, now gets swatted out of the lane.
If you don't believe me, watch Derrick Rose. This is a guy who has a 40some inch vertical jump, the speed and quickness of a cheetah, and is 6'3, 200 lbs and he still uses a floater to get his shots off in the lane area. We're talking about one of the best athletes in the world here.
Now, let's take a look at 5 finishing moves that you could work on:
- Derrick Rose Floater
A floater is a push-like shot used to float the ball over the outreached hands of the defenders in the lane. The really good floaters will look like the player stops and shoots almost all in one motion. The quicker and more unpredictable you are with this shot, the more deadly you can be. You can do this off one foot or two feet.
You'll see a couple of Derrick Rose floaters in this video at 0:15 and 0:25.
This is a move that Rajon Rondo uses quite often and effectively. I first saw this move used by the legendary Hakeem Olajuwon. The same Hakeem Olajuwon that Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard have worked with the last few summers.
The player performs a 1-2 stop, then front pivots and shoots the ball.
- Ginobli Euro Step or Side Step
This is a great finishing move popularized by Manu Ginobli. The euro step is used when the defender takes away the offensive player's driving lane, so the offensive player uses a side step to get around the defender.
The video below shows the move as Manu moves in for the layup.
- Steve Nash No-Jump Lay Up
As you face better competition, the athletes get better. Well, Steve Nash realizes he's not going to out-jump the defenders to the goal, so he out-quicks the defenders to the goal.
So how does Nash do this? He does not jump. This works because he can get the ball up before his defender can recover and before helpside defense can rotate over to block the shot. Also, shot-blockers are accustomed to NBA guards trying to jump up towards the goal before shooting. That is why Steve Nash's no-jump lay up throws off the shot-blocker's timing as well.
- Steve Nash Same-Leg Lay Up
From a young age, we've been taught to shoot right-handed lay ups by jumping off our left leg and vice-versa. For a beginner this is fine, but when you need to take an extra step to get your footing down against better competition, the defense will more likely stop you. So as players advance, I believe it's important to finish from either side jumping off of either leg and finishing with either hand. That means if you're on the right side of the basket and need to jump off of your right leg and finish with your right hand, DO IT.
Steve Nash does a great job of combining the "No-Jump Lay Up" and the "Same-Leg Lay Up" in the video below.
Related Pages and Helpful Resources:
30 Competitive Game-Like Skill Building Drills
Improve Your Ability To Finish At The Rim With The Corner Finishing Drill
How To Make Basic Lay Ups and Finish At The Goal
Competitive Finishing Basketball Drill Versus Weakside Help
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