Why It’s Important to Learn How to Move Without the Ball in Basketball?

As you know, basketball is a game of movement. But, did you know that moving without the ball is just as important as moving with the ball? If you are an enthusiast of this sport, know that it is important to learn how to move without a ball in a basketball game.


There are numerous skills that you need to master before you become good at it. But sad to say, movements without the ball are among the least worked on aspect of the sport.

Move without a Ball on the Court

The truth is, moving without the ball is one the most crucial aspects of playing basketball. You may not know it, but this game is not just about shooting the ball.

While it is your ultimate goal, take note that you would need to execute various essential moves to see the ball entering your ring.

You would need to do various ways to keep the ball and prevent your opponents from getting it. You need to understand the importance of Cutting. To shoot a ball, the offenses need to have enough room to properly operate.

This is where the cutting movement enters. It is an undervalued skill, but you need to master it to make a good play. Cutting is beneficial in different ways:

  • It creates enough and proper spacing.
  • It makes defenses take a closer look at every player on the court instead of focusing on help defense only.
  • It enables the offense to make a player open.
  • It enables the offense to gain high scores even without running set plays.

Take note that there are a few things you need to remember to score off the cuts:

  • Correct timing is crucial: As they say, timing is everything. You need to "time" your move to make yourself open and ready to receive the pass.
  • Learn to change speeds: As a player, you don't want to be predictable. You would need to change speeds so you would be difficult to guard.
  • Get your hands ready: Because your goal is to see the ball entering your ring, you need to have yourself ready to do it. Prepare to catch the ball and be in position to shoot it.

Common Basketball Cuts

There are many types of basketball cut movements that you need to learn. Below are just some of them:

1. Shallow Cut

When you are exchanging positions, you would need to do a shallow cut. It is also applicable when replacing a player who vacated his position by passing or dribbling and cutting. Scoring options are the same as when you use a V-cut or L-cut.

2. Face Cut

Also known as the front cut, you can use the face cut in front of the defender to be on his ball-side. Doing this cut typically leads to a layup for either you or your teammate. You will need to set up your defender before cutting unless your defender is sagging off.

3. Deep Cut

This refers to a cut wherein wing players cut underneath the basket from one court side to the other. Deep cut is most successful against zone defense. This is because the defense often loses sight of the player cutting, especially when the ball and other players preoccupy them.

4. Flash Cut

With the term itself, this cut involves movements that are quick and explosive. Once you get the ball in the high post, you have the option to kick it back out or pass it to a cutter.

5. Larry Bird Cut

Starting out on the perimeter, this cut involves either a perimeter player or a post player with the ability to post up a smaller player. It starts when the player on the wing makes a quick cut down towards the low block.

You should make a quick stop with the defender tight against your body once you already settled where you want to post. Afterwards, you should pivot to seal your defender on your backside. Then, you must space out to a corner to for a 15-to-18 foot jumper.

6. V-Cut

There are two types of V-cuts: Quick V-cut and Jam-Down V-cut. Generally, it is the cut commonly used by a wing player against man-to-man defenses.

7. L-Cut

When starting on the low block, the L-cut is a good way to get open on the perimeter. You can also use it when starting in high-post. What you need to do is go down the lane and out. Apparently, it looks like an L; hence its name.

8. Backdoor Cut

You may use it when the defense overplays the passing lane. The offensive player comes out to the ball. He plants the far foot from the basket, pushes off, and cut hard to the loop.

Indeed, it pays to learn how to move without a ball when playing basketball. The sport may be fun to watch, but there is so much you need to know about it.

There are so many skills you need to learn and properly do before you could play a good basketball game. Therefore, you should always remember to give high value to everything. Never ignore a single basketball technique.

Final Words

The basic facts and different cuts mentioned above are just a few of the many basketball skills you need to learn. To help yourself become a good basketball player, you need to properly apply them and do more research about the techniques you need to know.

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