How to Drive to the Basket in Basketball

Great players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Derrick Rose seem to get to the basket at easy. However, a successful drive to the hoop is one of the toughest things to do in basketball. This article will explain how to beat your man and lay the ball in over a defender.


  1. Image titled Drive to the Basket in Basketball Step 1
    Make your move: To start your drive to the basket, you will have to beat your man. Instead of pushing your man backwards towards the hoop (like a jumpshot), you have to get him behind you. You can use a crossover, between-the-legs, behind-the-back, or any type of dribble move, as long as the man gets beat. A screen or pick can work, but make sure you end up with a mismatch.
  2. Image titled Drive to the Basket in Basketball Step 2
    Get low: When driving to the basket, every part of your body has to be low- you legs, hands, and especially the ball. The only part of your body not in line with the ground are your eyes (always keep your eyes up for open cutters). By doing this, you create more separation, move faster and quicker, and prevent the ball from being stolen. By dribbling upright, the ball has farther to travel, and it could be a turnover and easy basket on the other end.
  3. Image titled Drive to the Basket in Basketball Step 3
    Read the situation: Once you have your man beat, you have to see- do you have a mismatch? Are there open teammates? Is there help defense or shot blockers? If you are all alone, lay the ball in. If not, look for open teammates, because a double team means the there is a man left alone. If there are several taller defenders, think of pulling the ball back out and setting up the offense. If not, you might have to change your shot.
  4. Image titled Drive to the Basket in Basketball Step 4
    Jump: Once at the basket, the first step is to get off the ground, if you feel a shot is the right decision. No matter how you plan to jump (trying to avoid defenders, etc.), always explode upwards. That may draw a foul, and gives you more momentum for your shot.
  5. Image titled Drive to the Basket in Basketball Step 5
    Lay it in: Here, you have to choose what kind of release will be best for the situation. Try to finish with the correct hand (depending on the side of the basket). A finger roll, teardrop, fadeaway, or reverse layup may be in order. Do whatever feels right. Remember to focus on making the shot, not drawing the contact. Also, make sure you do not get an offensive foul.


  • Practice your moves.
  • If necessary, pull up for a jumpshot.
  • Try to draw contact, but to not charge the man.
  • Look for teammates.

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Categories: Basketball