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NBA Moves That'll Get You Room to Shoot the Jump Shot

by: Patrick Chylinski
Basketball Success - Online tips and private coaching

A big part of scoring the basketball is creating space for your shot. To put it simply: if you donít have room to shoot, you canít shoot.

So, youíve got to find a way to get open, to get enough space, to shoot the ball. Whether itís coming off of a screen, driving by the defender, or giving a pump fake or jab-step to get the defender off balance, creating space for your shot is essential.

Creating space to shoot is especially tough in the NBA because players are so tall, so athletic, and so quick. Pro basketball is full of amazing athletes that know how to play the game, and know how to defend. So taking a lesson from NBA players on how to create space is a good thing. Weíll talk about two separate ways the pros use to get their shot off, and then combine those moves into one powerful combination move.

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  • The Fall Away

    Shooting a fall away, especially down low (or when you have a defender on your back) can be a good way to get your shot off. Now, the fall away is a tough shot because you have to adjust your shooting motion to account for the fact that youíre moving away from the basket during the shot. But with enough practice, youíll get the hang of it. Basically, the fall away shot allows you to shoot the ball over a defender that is guarding you closely, or over a taller defender, because you create enough space to shoot by drifting away from the basket.

    The best way to learn the fall away? Watch a few NBA or college games and see how the really good players make the move. Then go out and practice the shot on your own over and over again until you can knock down a fall away with consistency (and donít forget to practice the shot from both sides: turning both to your right and to your left on the shot). Practice the shot from down low in the post (roughly 6 or 8 feet out), and even practice going out further from the basket (roughly 10 to 12 feet out). Shooting a fall away from much further than that is tough and not a shot youíll probably take in a game.

    And finally, after youíve practiced the shot a lot on your own, use the fall away in pick-up games and practices. No matter how much you practice shooting the shot on your own, thereís no substitute to using the shot in actual competition. To really perfect the shot, you need to practice and use the shot in game situations.

  • The Lean In

    The lean in move is another way to create space to shoot the ball. Itís a great move on its own, but even more effective when paired with the fall away.

    The lean in move simply means that you lean your body into the defender slightly, forcing them to back away, and/or get off balance. Once youíve gotten the defender to back up a few inches (or a foot or two), youíve created enough space to shoot the ball. This is the lean in move on its own.

    But the lean in move is even better when you combine it with the fall away. The combination move is this: you lean in to the defender to get them off balance, or backed up a bit, then you fall away slightly to create even more separation, then you knock down the jumper. Once youíve made the lean in and go up for the fall away shot, your only job then is to focus and hit the shot, since the defender shouldnít be an issue anymore. Even if your opponent recovers and tries to get a hand up on the shot, youíve already created enough distance between you so it wonít be a problem.

    If the defender is really guarding you closely, leaning in slightly will work great (your body contact will force them to back up slightly, and get them off balance). If the defense is a step or two away from you, the lean in move can still work. But if the defender is a few feet away from you, the move isnít so much a lean in as it is a jab step or lean forward move to get your opponent to think youíre planning to drive by them. If your opponent thinks youíre about to make a drive to the basket, they have to react. This usually takes the form of them moving back a step or two, or putting their weight back on their heels. Either way, youíve got them at a disadvantage, and given yourself plenty of space and time to go up for the shot.

    The key to the lean in move it to make it subtle and quick. You want to lean your body into the defender ever so slightly, and as if youíre about to drive by them. If the move it too aggressive or the lean in motion is too severe, the ref will call you for an offensive foul. But if you lean in slightly as if youíre going to make a drive to the basket, the ref usually gives you the benefit of the doubt. If you make a little contact with the defender, they usually wonít make a call against you.

    Combine the lean in (to back the defender away), and the fall away (to create even more space), and you should be able to get your shot off against tough defenders, even ones that have a height or jumping advantage over you. Watch Kobe, Allen Iverson, or Ray Allen. These guys really know how to create space to shoot the ball. And all three of them use the lean in, the fall away, and the two moves combined.

    Patrick Chylinski is a former college and professional basketball player. He is now a private success coach based in Los Angeles. His website: www.basketballsuccess.com has tips for basketball players on how to improve the mental and physical aspects of their game.

    Contact Information:

    Basketball Success
    Patrick Chylinski

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