What are V Cuts in Basketball?

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Scoring in basketball requires constant movement. That is true, especially even if you are not physically in possession of the ball. One of the most common off-the-ball movements in basketball is called a “V-cut.” What are V Cuts in basketball? 

Before answering the question, let’s briefly define what is a cut in basketball. A “cut” is when a player makes a sudden move or change in direction to avoid a defender. The primary goal is to get himself open for a pass and a possible scoring opportunity.

What are V Cuts in Basketball

What are V Cuts in Basketball?

In basketball, a V-cut is one of the most commonly used cutting actions. It is simple to pull off because it does not require a screener, and it works almost every time.

The V-cut action starts when an offensive player wants to shake off an overly aggressive defender. The offense could not cleanly catch the ball because of the suffocating defense. A simple solution to that problem is doing a V-cut.

In pulling off a v-cut, the offensive player walks the defender into the lane, maybe a couple of feet behind the three-point line. He has to sell the idea that he has given up catching the ball on the perimeter and is now trying to find a position closer to the basket.

As soon as he sees the defender letting his guard down, he quickly cuts or pops back to the perimeter. It is very important that the cutter does not return to his previous position, but takes on a different route. The player receiving the ball must move quickly, hands ready to catch the ball. As simple as this sounds, the V-cut always works because no player would be quick enough to stop that pass from happening.

How to Use V Cut to Score in Basketball

How to Use V Cut to Score in Basketball

The V-cut is a cutting action used to get yourself open in the perimeter. But after receiving an opening, there is absolutely nothing to it if you can’t take advantage and score. Here are some ways to use the V-cut to score:

  • When popping off a V-cut, give your teammate a target by raising or showing your hands. As soon as you receive the pass, the defender should be a step or two behind. If he does not follow you all the way through, be ready to shoot the ball. If he closes hard, attack the baseline and find an opportunity to score.
  • If the defender is literally still on your grill after receiving the pass, give him a drop stop going to the baseline. From there, you will have an opportunity for a layup, a floater, or a quick pullup jumper.

In any case, the idea is to get enough separation to receive the ball from the perimeter and read the defense from there. Be ready to shoot when the defense sags off, and be prepared to drive if the defense stays on top of you.

How Do You Get Good Cuts in Basketball

How Do You Get Good Cuts in Basketball?

There are two essential things to keep in mind so that you can get good cuts in basketball. The first is timing and the second is the explosion.

Timing is very critical when doing cuts. You can time a cut, especially when you catch your defender ball-watching. You can also lull the defender to sleep, so to speak, by simply standing around. Let him think that you’re not going anywhere and when he turns his head to watch where the ball is, cut hard to the basket.

Timing is also important relative to the position of the ballhandler. You can mistime everything if you cut to an area where the ballhandler could not see you. For example, Player A has his back to the basket for the first two dribbles. At this time, Player B should not be cutting to the basket. Now, if Player A faces the basket on his third dribble, then Player B could explode and cut to the basket because, at this point, Player A could see him do his thing.

The second element here is the explosion. “Explosion” simply means that you commit to your cut and go at it hard. Fake going in one direction and then explode going the opposite way. If you’re not going to commit all the way to the cut, it would be pointless. You couldn’t get anything out of it.

Other Types of Basketball Cuts

Other Types of Basketball Cuts

Some of the basic basketball cuts list include:

1. L-Cut

The L Cut in basketball has a similar concept to the V-cut. However, instead of starting from the outside going to the block, the L-cut is the other way around. To get open in the perimeter, the player receiving the ball starts from the block, goes to the corner of the lane, and then cuts to the wing. It is called an L-cut because the route that the player follows resembles the letter L.

As you walk from the block to the elbow, ensure that your top foot is over the defender’s top foot. Create space by slightly nudging your defender back as you call for the ball in the perimeter.

2. Dive or Basket Cut

A dive or basket cut is any cut toward the basket that results in an easy layup or score. The give and go basketball is an example of a simple dive cut action that results in a layup.

3. Backdoor Cut

A backdoor cut is a counter when a defensive player tries to overplay the pass, leaving a lane for the offensive player to the basket. It requires the right kind of timing and high skill to make the pass, but if executed correctly, it leads to an easy score at the basket. If the communication is off between the cutter and the passer, it could easily result in a turnover.

4. Flash Cut

A flash cut is done by a versatile big man as he moves from the low block to the high post. The passer, usually from the wing, then gives him the ball as he moves toward the high post. From there, the receiver may decide to do several things: go the basket, make another pass, or shoot the midrange.

5. Deep Cut

The deep cut is often used against a zone defense, especially against the 3-2 or 2-2-1. The player receiving the pass goes from one wing to the opposite corner behind the defense. Zone defenses usually follow the flight of the ball, and a deep cutter would often go undetected. This leads to an easy jumper in the corner.

3 V Cut Basketball Drills

3 V Cut Basketball Drills

1. The V-Cut Layup Drill

The V-Cut layup drill is a simple drill that should be taught to younger players. Again, the idea is very simple. The player starts at the wing, passes back to the coach, and then does a V-Cut. The coach then hits him with the pass as he pops to the perimeter and goes straight to the basket for a layup.

2. The V-Cut Shooting Drill

The V-Cut shooting drill is as straightforward as they come. A player from one side does a V-Cut and pops out in the perimeter just above the free-throw line. A player from another side hits him with a pass as he pops out, ready to shoot a jump shot.

3. Solo V-Cut Drill

The best thing about this V cut basketball drill is that it allows you to practice V-cuts even when you don’t have a passer around. You need a basketball, put it on a chair, and position it at the wing. 

The next step is to practice your V-Cut. Walk the defender down, plant one foot between the defender’s legs, and then turn 180 degrees. As you push off that planted foot, sprint toward the ball, and go hard as if you’re attacking a closeout. 

Work on different finishes during the drill. It can be a right-handed layup one time, a left-handed one the next, or a pull-up jump shot to cap it off. 

Wrapping Things Up: What are V Cuts in Basketball?

Basketball offenses that are hard to stop integrate off-ball movements and endless cutting as part of their foundation. From there, they get different types of spacing and could often pick the defense apart with it.

What is a cut in basketball? Simply put, it is an off-ball movement that requires a player to change direction quickly to evade the defender and catch a pass without duress. Most cuts are often directed toward the basket, but some like the V-Cut intends to get a player open in the perimeter.

What are V cuts in basketball? A V-cut is used by an offensive player against stringy man-to-man defenses so that he can get open and catch the ball in the perimeter. What he does is walk the defender from the perimeter down to the block, plant an inside foot between the legs of the defender, seal them, and make a quick pop-out to the perimeter. It is a fundamental move but an important one nonetheless. This allows the player to get open for a shot, attack the defense for a layup, or create for others.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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