1. Read The Help Side – One of the most important parts of scoring around the basket is knowing when to attack the hoop. Attack the basket when you think there will be late help-side rotation on defense. Do this by looking “behind” the player guarding you & pick the opportune time to attack. Whatever you do, don’t drive into traffic.
2. Seek Contact – A favorite coaching saying is “offense wants contact, defense doesn’t.” What this means is the more an offensive player seeks out contact with the defender, the less likely he is to get blocked. Defensively, shot blockers are taught to stay away from the offensive players body and challenge the ball up top, seek contact to gain the advantage.
3. Use The Rim – A very effective way to finish around the basket is “using the rim to protect you.” What this means is doing a reverse layup so that the shot blocker can’t contest your shot. Players like Kyrie Irving & Stephen Curry have become masters at making the defender think they will lay it up on one side & quickly finishing on the other.
4. Go Off 2 Feet – Taking off 2 feet will allow you to absorb contact with the defender and still be able to finish. When taking off two feet, you want to do whats called a “closed” finish meaning you lean your inside shoulder into the shot blockers chest. Taking off 2 feet allows for better balance and is also easier to make shot fakes off or pass out of.
5. Protect The Ball – So many young players attack the basket and forget to keep the ball on the outside/side of their body. You want to be “ball strong” & be aware of where the ball is right before you are about to finish. Keep the ball “chinned” meaning held with two hands with elbows bent, making it very hard for someone to steal it.
6. Use Inside Hand Layups – One of the best times to do a one-foot finish is whats called the “inside hand lay-up”. The inside hand layup means taking off one foot and using your inside hand (right hand on left side, left hand on right side) to finish. This layup is particularly effective because it is hard for shot blockers to get to & catches your defender off guard because they are expecting a regular layup. Usually this is an underhand layup.