Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

Backdoor cuts


Backdoor cut from the wing

3 blast cuts, realizes that the defender is denying outside the 3-point line, and pushes off the outside foot to cut backdoor for a bounce pass from 1 then a layup or bank shot. A closed fist with thumb up means the cutter is going backdoor. Never fake a back cut - if you start to the basket, go to the basket. 1 should fake a pass to 3 on the wing. Switch lines, then switch sides.


- add a guided defender (rotate passer to defender to cutting line)
- 1 dribbles to the swing position
- add a passing line at the other swing position, since many backdoor opportunities come off ball reversal (3 blast cuts on a pass to 1).


A ballside low post ("dead post") recognizes when the wing is denied, shows a catch fake at the rim to freeze his defender, then cuts to the high post for a pass. The wing cuts backdoor on the pass. A reverse pivot by 4 will create separation from his defender and allow him to see the wing more clearly.

Players are pushed or pulled by the movement of other players, e.g., filling a spot that another player just left. Here 1 relocates to the spot vacated by 3, which is especially important if 4 does not pass to 3.


2 cuts backdoor if 1 dribbles at him, stops at the basket and looks to post up if he has an advantage (drop step at the rim), otherwise he cuts up hard to the top looking for the reversal pass.

Variation - 1 dribble hand-offs to 2, holding the ball on top and below.


Backdoor cut from the top

When the reversal pass from the wing is denied.


- add ballside low post 4 who clears to make space, stepping to the ballside rebound-drop zone, Russian spot, or short corner.
- 1 breaks up from the weakside wing to the top.


Backdoor cut from the corner

3 takes one hard step out then cuts backdoor.

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2007-13 Eric Johannsen