How to Attack the Basket

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Learn How to Attack the Basket off the pass

attacking off the dribble

Written By Lamar Hull @ Google+

Attacking the basket off the pass can be a sure way to keep your defender on his or her heels! Being 5’9” and always playing amongst the trees, I had to perfect my quickness and footwork so that I could attack the basket against the best of them!

Most good players learn how to shoot, but do they learn how to attack the basket and finish in traffic? 

If you are working on your game in the gym, you know how important basketball drills are! Attacking the basket should be included in your basketball workout. This article will teach you how to attack the basket off the pass, so that you can blow by your defender and finish at the rim with authority. 

Attacking the Basket off the Catch

#1 When you receive a pass, square up to see what options you have and how your opponent is playing you. You don’t have to start dribbling right away. You dictate the game! This will keep the defender off-balance because he or she will not know your next move. If the defender closes the gap between you and him or her, use your triple threat skills to create space. You could then use the jab step to push the defender back to prepare for your next move, which is attacking the basket. 

#2 If your defender is playing you to one side, thinking you can’t dribble with your left hand (let’s say you are right handed), their left foot would be positioned higher to force you to the left. You could fake to the left and then attack that left foot that is positioned higher. When you attack that left foot, swing the ball through hard and stay low with your movement. It is important to attack South and not East or West! If you go East or West with your movement, the defender is going to be able to cut you off. Attacking towards the basket makes it easier for you to dribble past the extended foot and get to the rim.

#3 Once you’re past the defender, the next step is pushing the ball out, making a strong move to the basket with the basketball. If you swing through hard and push the ball out, you should be able to get to the basket in one dribble. This also depends on how far you are away from the rim. So, don’t let the defender push you out when you are trying to catch a pass, work on getting open in the space that you want to use, not what the defender wants you to use. Once you get closer to the rim, there is no need to be fancy, use the floater, finish at the rim with a layup, or dunk on someone’s head. That’s finishing strong!

Here is a great video from Coach Calipari from Kentucky, who demonstrates how to attack the basket!




There are a lot of ways to attack the basket. This article focuses on attacking the basket after the catch. Next week, we will focus on attacking the basket off the dribble, so stay tuned. I know you want to be a great shooter, which is very important in the game of basketball. If you learn how to use your quickness, footwork, fundamentals, and speed, you can make defenders afraid to get up to close because you are good at getting to the basket. If or when that is the case, they will back off of you and you will be able to showcase your shooting ability.

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