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Supplementing the NBA's newest cuts into high school and college entries/plays.

It seems like the NBA has created a new and different type of cut that is becoming very popular and used by almost every team in the league. Some Division 1 coaches have already implemented it into their offensive arsenal.

This cut, called by at least one college team as the "Iverson Cut," is a fundamentally sound offensive move that can and should be integrated into offensive plays at other offensive skill levels, besides the pro and college ranks.


Diagram 1 illustrates the first offensive set where 03 initiates this cut after he popped out to the wing off of 05's screen. As 01 dribbles towards OS's first cut, 03 then makes what we will call the (perimeter) "Iverson Cut." This cut is horizontal towards 05, and 03 uses 05 the second time as a (horizontal) back-screen near the free throw line and ends up at the right wing area, near the free throw line extended.

Simultaneously, as 03 makes his cut, 04 flashes straight across the lane to post up on the new ballside block area. 02 also diagonally breaks across the lane to set a "screen the (back) screener" for 05 to use a backdoor lob cut to the basket.

After 02 sets his "small on big" back-screen for 05, 02 then pops out to the top of the key for three important reasons: Spacing, defensive transition, and ball reversal purposes. This "small on big" screen would greatly discourage any defensive switches, making this offensive action much more difficult to defend. See Diag. 1.

This action of this entry/play creates many different scoring threats for 01 to utilize. When 01 reaches the wing area at the free throw line extended, 01 could look to hit 04 on the new ballside block in somewhat of an isolation play or for 01 to make a lob pass to 05 cutting to the basket. If X5 stays on the inside of 05 and jams 05 on his lob-cut, 01 may not be able to pass the ball directly to 05.


Instead, 01 could reverse the ball to 02, who could then continue the swing of the ball to 03 on the right wing area. When 02 passes the ball to 03, 01 should then step up and set a back screen for 02, who will then make a flare-cut. If 01 doesn't or cannot reverse the ball to 02, he could make a skip pass directly to 03. 03 would have an excellent angle to be able to make the inside pass to 05 near the new ball-side low post area. If X5 plays tight on the inside of 05 to prevent the lob pass from 01, 03 should be in outstanding position to be able to successfully make the inside pass to 05.

After two seconds, if 05 does not receive the pass from 03, 05 should empty out and set a lane exchange cross-screen for 04. If no scores are manufactured from this offensive action, this places both post players (04 and 05) in the two lost post areas with the three designated perimeters (01, 02, and 03) at the two wing areas and at the top of the key. These loca tions/spot-ups have the potential to then be able to flow into various continuity offenses or motion/passing game offenses. See Diag. 2.

If 03 is a good leaper, and has a height mismatch over X3, a similar entry could be executed. 01 again dribbles towards the wing where 03 has broken out. 03 then makes what we will call his (interior) "Iverson Cut" off of 05 as he has done in the first entry. 04 again flashes to the new ballside low post area and 02 again diagonally breaks up towards 05 again.

If X3 is playing tightly on 03, and there is a height mismatch of 03 over X3, 03 can change the ultimate direction of his "Iverson Cut" and curl tightly off of 05 and then 02's back-screen. He can also cut through the lane and look for the lob pass from 01. 01 should look to hit 04 on the new ballside low post area or look to make the lob pass to 03. See Diag. 3.

If 04 is not hit by 01, 04 should step out to the deep corner to horizontally pull out a big defender (X4). After setting the back-screen, 05 then pops out to the top of the key. If 03 doesn't receive the lob pass from 01, he should then break out to the free throw line extended.

As 04 and 05 both step out to the perimeter, 02 slides down to the vacated mid-post area. If 01 cannot hit 02 sliding down, 04 may possibly have an even better passing angle to make the inside pass than 01 does. Ideally, 02 is a better offensive post player than X2 is an interior defender (because of height, strength, skill, and/or experience).

That gives the offense a "position mismatch" advantage that could be capitalized upon. Any little help-side defense would have to come from X3, who might not be a big enough help-side defender, especially if 03 pops out to the free throw line extended, further stretching the defense. See Diag. 4.

Still, if no scores have taken place, 01 could reverse the ball to 05 at the top of the key before the pass is continued to 03. 04 could then make a type of flex (small on big) back-screen off of 02 and cut across the lane to post up to the new ballside low post area. 02 then steps up to set a second (small on big) back-screen for 05 to use as he cuts to the basket for a lob pass (from 03).

If none of this action still produces a score, both 04 and 05 end up in the two low post spot-up locations and the three perimeter players end up in the three perimeter spot-up positions. From there, several different offensive continuities or types of passing games can continue the offensive attack on the defense. See Diag. 5.

Diagram 6 is an illustration of a different player (02) making a perimeter "Iverson Cut." 02 first pops out to the wing area on his side of the floor, before then making the cut horizontally across near the free throw line to the wing area on the opposite side of the court.

When 01 makes the pass, an explosion of movement takes place. 01 breaks to the newly vacated wing area on the right side of the offense. 03 steps up to set a (small on big) back-screen for 05 to use as he slides down to the new ballside low post area. 03 then steps out to the top of the key while 04 then flashes to the ballside high post area. See Diag. 7.

If 02 cannot make the inside pass to 05 or to 04, he can then reverse the ball to 03, where the ball can then be swung to 01. 02 can then cut low off of 05's back-screen or can cut high off of 04's back-screen, looking for 01 's pass, as he cuts across the lane to post up on the new ballside low post area. X2 will only receive minimal helpside defense as 03 and 04 should stagger screen for 05.

This places 05 at the top of the key, 02 on the ballside block, and 01 on the ballside wing. 03 will loop out to the new weakside wing and 04 ends up on the new weakside low post area. From there, various other man offensive continuities can then perpetuate the offensive attack. See Diag. 8.

Diagram 9 illustrates another entry, but out of a somewhat different offensive alignment/set. This set has 03 and 02 positioned at the wing areas at the free throw line extended. 05 and 04 start at the elbow areas on their respective sides of the floor. 01 keeps the ball centered up with his dribble and the designated perimeter "Iverson Cutter" (03 in Diag. 9) makes his cut off of the post player on his side of the court.

The opposite wing player (02 in this case) makes a low cut down to the mid-post area and then across to the opposite side of the lane from where he started. 01's first option is to make the pass to 03, activating the weakside high post player (05) to diagonally flash to the new ballside low post. On the pass by 01 to 03, both 04 and 01 go down to set a stagger screen for 02.

This wipes out the helpside defense that X5 probably needs to adequately defend 05, while also giving the offense an outstanding 3-point shot opportunity for 02 at the top of the key. After setting the screen, 01 steps out to the weakside wing with 04 remaining on the weakside low post area. The result places all five offensive personnel in the proper spot-ups for the offense to continue its offensive assault on the opposition.

The "Iverson Cut" is fundamentally sound and is new enough that defensive teams are very unsure of how to defend it. Regardless of denial pressure on the perimeter player, the player that makes the "Iverson Cut" should be able to get open in the area where the offense wants him to get free.

This allows the offense to be able to place the ball in the hands of whomever they want, while positioning all other players in the desired locations needed for the offense to be successful.

By JohnKimble, Former Coach, Crestview (FL) High School
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Title Annotation:BASKETBALL; National Basketball Association
Author:Kimble, John
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2008
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