Great shooters and scorers need to know how to move effectively and efficiently without the ball. A couple of current players that are great at moving without the ball are Allen Iverson and Richard 'Rip' Hamilton. In this TNT video, Rip shows you all the basic cuts and how to use screens effectively. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

For all you coaches out there, if you run any kind of motion-based offense or continuity, it is essential that your players know how to move without the ball and get open. Many times, you see kids standing around or moving from one spot to another spot and they're never really open or a threat. That is not the point of a motion offense, the motion in the offense is designed to allow your players to use their moves to get open and be a constant threat to the defense.

Here are just some points of emphasis on getting open,

1. Change of speed, as Rip shows in the video, you don't necessarily have to have blazing speed, but you need to be able change speeds effectively to throw your defenders off. When you make your cuts, it's not full-speed all the time, it's a slow couple of steps, then a sudden explosion to the ball.

How powerful is change of speed? I like to use the Jamie Moyer analogy. Moyer is the most average pitcher I've ever seen, his fastball probably tops at 90, but he changes speeds so well. He is the best pitcher I know that uses the off-speed pitch so effectively.

2. Get into triple-threat. When you receive the pass, you should be set and ready to shoot right away. This will allow you to either shoot the ball while open, or attack your defender who is probably closing on you and out of position.

3. Coming off screens properly. Make sure that you use the shoulder to hip rule. To properly use a screen you want to get low and have your shoulder rub the hip of your screener.

4. Use a variety of cuts. v-cut, l-cut, curl, flare, backdoor cut. As Rip shows us, never be in one spot for longer than two seconds. If your not open, GET OPEN.

If you're looking for more on getting open and becoming a better scorer, I recommend taking a look at the Five-star Basketball DVD on getting open and attacking. Coach Bergeron goes through all the basics of cutting as well as flashing to the post and dribble penetration.

Go over the Coaching Basketball Forum to discuss.