Finishing the Basketball

The ability to finish in multiple ways is the first step to success

One can scan the internet, Instagram, and any other social media and find all sorts of trainers or players posting workouts. Most of the time they are doing unique moves that look cool on social media but are rarely used in games at the highest levels.

When you start to break down the best players you first notice their dominance of basic skills. Kobe Bryant has been noted for his belief in dominating the basics; I will save that for another letter but when the best player in the world says that, you better listen.

Whatever move you use or teaching, it does not matter if you cannot finish the play and score the points. Well how do you score the points, you have to be able to finish in multiple ways.

I love to do these complete breakdowns using video and for many of them, including professional athletes, they have gaps in their finishing. I have built in moves for respected players that they need to add to their game in order to finish and improve. Finishing in multiple ways is a major emphasis to me even at the highest levels.

Finishing is based on where the player is on the court and the defender. Let’s start at the rim. I pulled some video of Draymond Green and saw an incredible ability to finish off one foot for both right and left hand layups. Yes, I know sounds basic right, but you have to be able to catch the ball in stride or on the dribble and lay up with right hand on the right side or left hand on the left side.

Finishes to think about at the rim

  1. Left and right hand finishes off one foot

  2. Same as #1 but extend around defenders

  3. same as #1 but driving to the middle and laying up over the front of the rim

  4. reverse layups using both right and left hand

  5. jump stop near rim ball fake then finish

  6. finishing on the left side using your right hand and spinning off the backboard (inverse your hand)

  7. same as #6 but finish on right side with left hand spinning off backboard

    Dominate 1-7 before considering floaters, euro, step-overs, jump hooks, etc…

Concepts to Consider

While you are teaching or training, one thing I want you to consider and you can see this in the Kyrie Irving video below- spend some workouts focusing on getting your head lower than the defender’s head. You do not have to worry about getting your shoulders or chest low etc… if you get your head lower than the defender’s head the rest will follow. Watch how much easier it is to get the angle on a defender or just go by him/her and score.

This video breakdown I did of Kyrie Irving shows many things, but check out how he can finish in multiple ways at the rim & watch how he gets lower than the defender’s head on his moves.

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Stay the course and persevere.