Moving and Getting Open

Moving without the ball has been turned into an art form by some of the greats. The ability to use screens, cut, and finding open spots are common among those thought of as the best shooters. Moving without the ball requires watching your defender, utilizing your teammates, knowledge of defensive rotations, and quickly analyzing floor spacing. Some NBA players provide great examples; Rip Hamilton and Reggie Miller were two of the best at constantly moving and using screens. There is a lot of information available available in the footwork section under getting open for using various cuts. Ball Screens & Dribble weaves

Ball Screens: A ball screen is a screen in which one offensive player sets a screen for the ball handler. The basics of using a ball screen are similar to using a normal screen. The ball handler should rub the offensive player right off of the screen. Ball screens will be set in different settings. Maybe on the wing before the ball handler has even dribbled and maybe at the top of the key for a point guard bringing the ball up the floor.

Level of the screen: When the ball screen is set at the top of the key, it is important for the ball handler to take the defender to the level of the screen. This means that whether to the left or the right, they should dribble down to the level of where the screen will be set.

Normal screen: When a screen is set on the wing. You can use it normally or “bounce” the screen. Bouncing the screen is when an offensive player fakes like they are going to use a screen, and goes the opposite way. Bouncing the screen is done by approaching the screen as if it were to be used, but then quickly making a move in the opposite direction. A dribble move can also be used, particularly a spin move.


Weaves and hand-offs

Dribble Weave: A dribble weave is similar to a ball screen, or perhaps more similar to a hand-off in football. It is used to get open, get to the basket, or even misdirection. A dribble weave is executed when one player comes to a jump stop and hands the ball to a teammate coming in the opposite direction. The player intending to hand the ball off should come to a jump stop with their back to the basket just prior to the transition. The player accepting the hand-off should be moving toward the other player and should accept the hand-off similar to a running back in football.

Hand-off & Fake Handoff: Similar to a dribble weave, except the player initiating the dribble weave does not do so with the dribble. A fake hand-off can also be effectively utilized to do this…a player should run past the hand-off pretending to receive the ball. And the player executing the fake handoff should spin back around the other way and take the ball to the basket (or square up for a jump shot).

European Cut: A European cut is similar to a dribble weave. One player drives toward the basket, in this example we’ll assume the player is driving from the left wing down the middle of the lane. When that player drives, their teammate who is performing the European cut, the one performing the European cut should come from the right wing and cross just behind their driving teammate.