Cuts Terminology

There is one really important thing that separates the amateur from the high level, and its terminology.

Cuts Terminology

Cuts | Terminology

If you are reading this, I am sure that you have goals of playing collegian or professional basketball. There is one really important thing however that separates the amateur from the high level, and it’s terminology.

So in this post, I brought you 5 basic cuts and actions which terminology you got to know if you want to make it far on the professional side of hoops.


To make these cuts and actions more effective, you got to sweat the details, such as using change of pace, faking, eye contact, etc. If you do it correctly, your actions on the court will be twice as effective!

Don’t forget that the following cuts often have different variations based on the team's playing style.

If you want to really raise your understanding of them, pay attention to the player movement when you watch high-level basketball next time. I promise you’ll pick up way more by watching great players, rather than just seeing it on the whiteboard.

UCLA / Duke Cut

Here the top player passes to the wing and drives down the line using the high post as a screen. It’s really effective, especially when you see a lot of free space under the basket.

Iverson / Loop Cut

Here you would usually go from wing to wing using a few screens at the high post. If you want to clear a side of the court and play isolation, this is a great option!

Zipper Cut

Here you’d go from corner to top using the low post as a screen.

If you are a fast player, this can be a lethal weapon of yours. Dwayne Wade used it a lot in his career, and it brought him a lot of options due to his speed and efficiency.

Laker Cut / Post Entry Cut

The Laker or Post-Entry Cut can be really effective when you want to establish a great position under the basket by cutting off the post. If your defender is watching the big man after you passed the ball, go ahead and cut!

Slice Cut

This one we often see as inbound plays for a lob, but you can also use it as a post feed when the ball is passed from one wing to the other and to post as a result.

I hope you enjoyed this post and could learn something new! Don’t forget to check whether you see some of these actions next time you watch NBA basketball.

If you have any questions/suggestions or just want to talk hoops, don't hesitate to reach out!

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Until next time!