Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cutting is a Race

Cutting is a race to a spot.

And only the offense knows when the race starts.

And only the offense knows where the race ends, something that may change at anytime during the race.

So how can the defense possibly ever win this race?

By guessing when and where the race will go or by just being a very very fast racer. The only advantage the defense really has is that they many start anywhere on the race track they please.

Heaven help the offensive cutter who, before the fact, tells a defender when the race will start and where it will end.

Offense: Dont give up your advantage by telling the defender the race specifics beforehand.

Defense: Accept that you can only win races through the mental skill of guessing the race details - a skill that can be trained.

Its especially hard to win the race if the guy you are guarding is a track star.


Owen said...

The defence has a few ideas about where the race will end. A good defender might yield the break side for 2 seconds - the cutter may take it, not seeing that a teammate is entering that space. Clogging is created. Victory to the smart defender who sees the field in that instance.

A skilled defender can guess the race details - and influence which race the cutter chooses, by positioning, telling the mark to change and more.

Stephen Hubbard said...

Right. I SHOULD have said that it is very hard for a defender to win races but IF a team has a good defensive strategy, the individual has better knowledge of the races that are to be run.

The breakside/openside distinction is a huge part of this; a mark cutting off 1/3 of the field certainly helps the defender know where races will proabably go.

I also agree that a skilled defender can influence the choice of race - this too is a skill that can be developed.