In learning about how to cut off a defender in basketball, it's important to remember that it isn't always the most talented or strongest player in the game that best accomplishes this task. In fact, success is based more on speed and determination than any other basketball attribute. Having someone in your face playing defense can be frustrating and takes away from play opportunities. The best way to rid yourself of this type of defender is to cut them off and attempt to make a play immediately after while they are in the process of recovering.
- The pick and roll is one way to cut off a defender. This is a play that requires two players and a little planning or communication. In essence, one player uses the other player to block out the defender to open them up for a pass or shot. This part of the play is the pick; the defender is picked off or cut off by the body of the other offensive player. As an added part of the play, the person that created the pick then rolls towards the basket cutting his defender off and opening himself up to take a pass and a clear shot without a defender.
- Cut off a defender by varying your speed and movement. A fake shot isn't the only way to leave an opponent in the dust. By slowing down and moving your body in one direction, the defender begins to anticipate the movement and adjusts his defense. At this point, speed up quickly and head in the opposite direction. As you go around the defender, be sure to put at least one foot directly in front of the defender to ensure that you have not only cut them off, but that they will need to foul you in order to take away the ball or come after you. By “faking out” the defense, you have opened up the court to your advantage.
- Finally, by boxing out after a shot has been made, you are cutting off a defender's access to the basket and positioning for the rebound. When a shot is made, use your feet and body to stand in front of the defender. By cutting them off from the basketball, they are forced to commit a foul in order to go over the top of you to get the ball. Cutting off a defender in basketball can lead to the court opening up for your offensive moves.