Directional jump shots teach players how to shoot the ball, no matter what direction they are moving. I am not just talking about driving to the basket to shoot, I am referring to using sidesteps and stepbacks to elude defenders and take open shots. At ATTACK Basketball, we teach players how to execute 3 moves to get an open jump shot:
- Side steps – These can be either east or west/right or left, depending on the position of the defense. You would use this move when a defender overruns their closeout. In this situation, using a blow-by dribble will most likely get your shot contested by nearby helpside defenders, but choosing a side step dribble allows you a better shot selection. The point of this move is for you to side step into a clear space, away from the helpside defenders contesting your shot.
- Step Back – A step back move is just what it sounds like, you step backwards. You use a step back dribble when your primary defender is guarding you closely, meaning near your hip or shoulder. Learning how to stop and push backwards off one foot allows you to create the space you need to raise up and shoot.
- Blow-By – The blow-by is the traditional one-dribble pull up jump shot. You use this when you are driving toward the basket and recognize that your defender is giving you space to ensure they don’t get called for a block. In this situation, you want to take advantage of the space and “stop and pop” or stop and shoot a jump shot.
I can’t stress the importance of reading the cues from the defense in different situations. Understanding which of these moves to implement, setting yourself up for the best chance at an open jump shot makes you an exceptional player. Basketball is a game of directions, so I recommend you mastering these to give yourself a compass to follow in any situation!