If you have listened to Steve’s podcasts with Rick Torbett, you will know that Coach Collins utilizes the Read and React offense. But before installing this offensive system for your team, you’ll need to develop the specific skills to help your players leverage scoring opportunities. These Read and React basketball drills, like the Laker Cut, layer these skills so your players can excel with this system.
We utilize the Read and React in our program at Gibson Southern in Fort Branch, Indiana. We love the unpredictability and freedom it provides our players while still having certain rules for them to follow. The various layers in these drills are the same as Coach Torbett’s system. They can be easily implemented if you are running the Read and React system.
As all coaches know, it is important to prepare your athletes both mentally and physically for how to react in certain situations when games roll around. These drills simulate those situations in 3 or 4 player groups. We have implemented these drills with female basketball players from 5th grade all the way up to 12 grade.
Read and React Basketball Drills: Laker Cut
A Laker Cut happens when a player on the wing or in the corner, passes to the low post. Following the pass, that player cuts toward the basketball either above or below their teammate on the block. The post player can then pass it back to the cutter at the basket. This move gets its name from the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, which used this action in their sets, particularly during the Showtime Lakers era.
The Laker cut embodies the popular offensive philosophy of always following a pass with a cut. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar helped popularize this action with their play in the 1980s. This movement is similar to a UCLA cut by taking advantage of a defender’s tendency to relax once their mark has passed the ball.
This Read and React drill begins with a player on the wing, a player in the post, and a post defender.
The player on the wing enters the ball into the post then completes the Laker cut, this time through the elbow. Your post player then passes to the cutter for a layup attempt.
The player receiving the pass can work on different finishes in the lane. The shots might include a layup, a reverse finish, and a floater.
The second variation of this Laker cut drill moves the defense to the wing. Here’s the set up has the defender on the ball initially, with the post player open underneath the basket.
Here, after making the pass, the player on the wing must make the Laker cut with a defender in front of him. The cutter can practice using a jab step for misdirection. Once again, this player can work on different finishes once they’ve received the pass in the lane.
A Laker cut works in the opposite way as a split cut. This happens the wing player passes into the low post then cuts away from the ball to set or receive another screen.
Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach
Coach Unplugged Podcast
Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.