Tip Tuesdays: 3 Shots to Help You Finish Over Taller Defenders
Recently I have been having conversations about ways to finish at the rim over a taller defender, which got me thinking about how I and others do it. (Thanks to my man Cameron for the email!)I can relate trust me! I am 5’9″ and not exactly the highest jumper. I was also not the greatest shooter, especially in high school. I was also very quick and fast so I was able to break down the defense and get to the rim. So if I wanted to score it had to be at the rim. This forced me to develop into a better finisher at the rim. There are many different shots that helped me finish at the rim. These 3 shots helped me the most though.
1) The Pull-up
Anytime you are able to get to the middle of the floor it opens up the options you have. When you are able to push the ball to the free throw line it gives you a chance to shoot a high percentage shot and also the opportunity to see the whole floor. By getting to the middle of the floor it freezes the defense as they anticipate your next move. Will you pass? Will you drive all the way to the basket? If the defenders don’t react you can hit the short jump shot. If they defenders do approach you then you can hit a teammate for an easy lay-up. This shot is also helpful on the fast break. You can push defenders back into the lane as they expect you to go for the lay-up but this short shot is just as good and the view is less crowded.
Online Basketball Camp made a short video that can help you work on this shot here:
2) The Floater
The floater is a great shot for getting over taller defenders. You should practice this shot by shooting high arching shots from 7 – 12 feet out from the basket. A key factor to this shot is your footwork. In order for you to get the separation you need from the shot blocker it is important that you take 1 step when you would normally take 2. If you stop before you get to the basket the shot blocker will be caught off guard and by the time they see the shot it’s already too high for them to block. Chris Paul and Tony Parker are great at this!
3) The Pump Fake
Another option is to utilize a pump fake to get the defender off their feet. I found this to be effective once you know you are playing an opponent who goes after the shot block. To make this move effective you would want to first have a great pump fake. This means that the pump fake should look just like you are going to shoot only you do not leave the ground. I have found the best way to do this is to keep your feet flat on the ground and bend your knees to enter your shooting motion as usual. This will also help you to maintain your pivot foot so you can pivot without traveling. This also helps the refs understand that you understand the difference between a travel and a great move. For this move you want to watch Kobe Bryant as not many players use a pump fake better than him.
I hope this helps you score over the taller defenders. If you have any other questions do not hesitate to get in contact with me on social media or via email.