The best things for me to write about are those things that I’m experiencing right now! With that in mind, I have to mention how amazed I am at the effectiveness of Laker Cuts and X-Cuts whenever the Post is fed! I’ve seen it hundreds of times! It’s the SECOND Layer of the Read & React, and yet it never ceases to bring a smile to my face!
I’m currently watching as many games on as many levels; men and women, boys and girls; that time will permit. I find myself talking to myself while I’m watching the games and Laker Cuts never fail to tease a verbal “Wow!” from my mouth! Sometimes I’m not even aware of it until I hear my wife (from another room) say, “What is it?” I’ll say something like “Great Laker Cut”, followed by Cindy mumbling something under her breath that I can’t quite make out.
Performed quickly and correctly, this is a very difficult action to guard! Even with poor spacing, it continues to work! And it’s not just the Laker Cut itself, but the actions that surround it that make it difficult to guard:
1. The cutter is most often open, followed by
2. The post making a move after the cutter goes by, either
2a. Drafting the cutter, or
2b. Making a move opposite the cutter.
3. The players filling the empty spot left by the Laker Cutter are open for
3a. A catch-and-shoot,
3b. Catch-and-drive (usually a momentum move), or
3c. A Read Line.
And this brings up X-Cuts. Mix them in with the Laker Cuts when you can. It’s a good change of pace – a sort of misdirection action. I just watched a clip of a player in the post catching the ball, watching the X-Cut being set, and the post player drop-stepped and scored so quickly that my eyes were still on the X-Cut! I had to rewind and watch the clip a second and third time! The timing was exquisite! Everyone on defense (including me) had their attention on the X-Cut. The Post Player knew it and made the drop-step without a fake or any hint that it was coming. The post defender did not even have time to jump! That’s how quick it was!
My encouragement to you is to mix in the Laker & X-Cut even without a true “Post Player”. Cutters can stop and post up anywhere and anytime!
What’s this got to do with Quantum Mechanics? I heard a quote regarding Quantum Mechanics that went something like this:
“Quantum Mechanics is the most absurd and ridiculous theory to be hoisted upon the scientific community. It has only one thing going for it: It works!”
Laker Cuts are the same as Quantum Mechanics. Many in the coaching community snicker and scoff at something so simple or so “old school”.
They are correct! It is simple, perhaps even “old school”. But it has one thing going for it: It works! And it works on all levels!
Laker Cuts, X-Cuts, and Quantum Mechanics
It is our sincere hope that we can provide you with every tool necessary to improve not only as a Read & React coach, but as a basketball coach as a whole. We look forward to working closely with you this season.