The Secret to Attacking the Hoop with Only 3 Basketball Moves

Having a high court awareness allows players to see the court and position themselves as offensive threats. This video reveals three highly effective ways to attack the basket while taking advantage of defenders being out of position.

The beauty is that these moves all complement each other, creating multiple options for an offensive player. Therefore, when a defender stops one move, there is an instinctive progression to the next.

A Little Secret That Makes the Moves Even More Effective

Here is a little secret about attack moves and a very important point to emphasize. We learned this over a decade ago from NBA trainer Don Kelbick.

On all of these moves, you attack the opposite direction of the pass. If the pass comes from the left, you attack to the right. If the pass comes from the right, you attack to the left.

That's because if your teammate has the ball on the left wing, most of the defenders will be on the left side of the floor and the middle of the floor.

That means...

    1. There are very few defenders on the opposite side of the floor.

    2. The defense has a longer path to travel.

    3. The defender's momentum can be used against them if they do recover in time.

This makes it much more difficult for the defenders to stop you when attacking the basket.

Then when you master effective moves that complement each other, this makes you nearly impossible to guard!

3 Moves to Attack the Basket

Here are three moves that you can use when attacking the basket.

Move #1 - Catch and Rip Opposite

You catch the ball and face the basket looking to shoot. Then you immediately rip the ball across your body and dribble to the basket for a lay up.

You can utilize a hop or forward pivot when catching the ball.

  • Think shot first! You need to be a threat to shoot first. If you're open to shoot, shoot it. If the defense closes out and stops the shot, this opens up a driving lane.

  • Rip high or low and tight - When you rip the ball across your body, make sure to rip it below your knees or across your forehead. You also want to keep the ball tight to your body on the rip. This keeps the ball away from the defender's hands and prevents steals.

  • Step straight to the basket or by the defender's hips - This enables you to get a straight line to the basket so you can get to the basket quicker.

  • Athletic stance! Ensure players are "living low" in an athletic stance and are score ready to make a move.

Move #2 - Jump Stop

If the defense slides in front of you near the basket (about 4 to 10 feet from the basket), you can come to a jump stop before reaching the defense. You can utilize a jump shot or floater.

This allows you to get balanced, prevent charges, and evade the defense.

  • Little, quick jump - You don't want to jump high and far. This will take you into the defense for a possible charge and give them more time to recover. A little, quick jump gets you balanced and ready to shoot.

  • Arc on your shot - You want to make sure to get enough arc on your shot. This will help you shoot over shot blockers coming from the help side.

Move #3 - Counter Dribble

If the defender recovers or the help defense steps up further, you can use a change of direction move. This will use the defender's momentum against them and give you a lane to attack the basket.

Drill Instructions:

To begin, Player 1 has a ball on the wing. Player 2 is on the opposite wing.

Player 2 v-cuts to the top of the key. The set up is to take their defender two steps away from their intended target, change speeds, and then flash to the top of the key.

Once at the top of the key, the player drops into an athletic stance, ready to receive the pass.

Progression 1: Catch and Rip

Player 1 passes to Player 2.

Player 2 catches the ball then executes a catch and rip move then shoots.

Player 1 that made the pass will now move to the opposite wing. The scorer then replaces the passer on the opposite wing.

The drill formation repeats until the desired number of reps are reached.

Progression 2: Jump Stop

In the next progression, the jump stop move is used prior to the shot or lay up.

Progression 3: Counter Dribble Move

In the next progression, a counter dribble move is used prior to the shot or lay up.

Drill Variations:

To enhance the drill, use the following variations:

Multi-purpose the drill - After the player finishes at the basket, they grab the rebound and use a dribble move when dribbling out to the wing to become the passer. This adds the dimension of ball handling to the drill.

Change the attack areas - The court is a blank canvas; use all areas to explore and prepare for game experiences. You can cut from the corner, the block, the wing, the short corner, etc. Focus most on what happens most for you during the game or within your offense.

Add live defenders - You can start each possession with the same cut above. However, you can play a competitive 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 game. You can also limit dribbles to stay with the original idea of creating space and attacking the basket quickly.

Good luck and make the defense pay!

Related Resources:

Attack & Counter Basketball Camps by Don Kelbick

Breakthrough Basketball Camp Schedule

Klay's Superhuman Night and A Surprising 19% NBA Study

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Chris Harrison says:
2/14/2019 at 10:15:20 AM

This is a fantastic short tutorial, not just for young players but also for those of us who weren't great basketball players but are looking for ways to help our kids improve their game. I can't wait to start working through this drill with my daughter (11) and son (7) once the weather breaks to help them develop the basic skills and mentality to attack the basket on the offensive end of the court.


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