Even with the rise in 3 point attempts and jump shots, finishing around the rim is just as important in the game of basketball as it ever has been. That is why it is important for you as a player to develop this part of your game so you can be the best overall player you can be on the basketball court.
To finish at the rim in basketball you need to have great footwork, a soft touch around the rim, and the ability to focus through contact, while also understanding the correct angles and position that will be required to make contested layups around the rim.
For more information as well as tips and drills in order to become a better finisher around the rim continue below.
1. Using The Glass
You have to realize the backboard is there for a reason. By using the backboard you then give yourself the ability to switch up the angles while also allowing yourself to use more force on your layup attempts.
Things To Work On With The Bank Shot
When shooting a bank shot one thing you will notice is the angle in which you shoot the ball can and will be vastly different from a regular shot you take. To combat this you will need to practice this in many different circumstances and speeds in practice and drills by yourself.
Touch is very important on this type of shot, especially around the rim. Remember since you are working on your finishing ability you have to make sure you emulate the speed in which you will be taking your shots around the rim.
If you notice the faster you go to the rim the harder it is to control the touch you get on a bank shot around the rim.
2. Initiating Contact
Initiating contact is a great strategy to finish around the rim especially if you are a shorter player or you are going against a great shot blocker.
Keys To Initiating Contact
To time a layup attempt doing this method, you need to make sure you initiate contact before the defender leaves their feet to block your shot.
By doing this you ensure the defender does not have time to rise and get as high as they can.
One thing I notice many players do when finishing around the rim with contact is being hesitant or not following through all the way.
You have to realize if you are a player going in the paint there is no room for timidness and in fact, timidness is a sure-fire way to increase the likely hood of either turning the ball over or getting your shot blocked.
- Take One Hard Dribble
This is just something I have noticed throughout the years, but taking one hard dribble right before you rise to initiate contact can give yourself more momentum and rhythm finishing around the basket. This is also called a power dribble.
For more tips and tricks to finishing around the basket check out the video below
One reason I see a lot of players missing layups or easy shots around the rim is because they do not focus all the way through when going up for their layup attempt.
One easy fix to this is making sure you are using your eyes and keeping them on the rim. This may seem like something you might already be doing but you would be surprised by how many players take their eyes away from their target before they shoot the ball.
4. Learn To Take Off
What I mean by learning to take off is learning how to jump off both one foot and two feet when finishing around the rim.
This can be done by both improving your overall jump mechanics, and by just practicing different takeoffs and different positions you feel comfortable finishing from.
One thing I always recommend to players is playing one on one with a friend or teammate but making sure you're working on your drives to the basket.
For a great video explaining how to finish better and take off in games check out the video below.
5. Improve Your Vertical
I know this might seem like an obvious tip and something you cannot improve on but this could not be farther from the truth.
While the vertical Jump might seem like a complicated process it really comes down to how strong and fast you are relative to your body weight.
Things To Focus On To Improve Your Vertical
- Lowering your body fat percentage
- Getting relatively stronger according to your bodyweight
- Getting faster with exercises like plyometrics
For more articles on how to jump higher click on the link below.
6. Getting Stronger
Again another obvious answer, but luckily this is something almost everyone can work on. Getting stronger will not only make it easier to initiate contact and draw fouls
but it will also make it easier to hang in the air and even get the ball up and over the rim.
For More Information on how to get stronger and exercises that will help both your upper body and lower body click on the links below.
7. Have Variety
Having variety when it comes to finishing around the basket means having different shots you can go to given the circumstance.
This is important because in the game of basketball you're going to have many different circumstances and situations arise in any given situation and to be effective around the rim you need to be able to match each situation accordingly.
Below are examples of different types of finishes you can incorporate into your game.
The floater is an important shot to have because it allows you to get the ball off quickly and over much taller and bigger defenders.
The floater is a staple finishing move for many of the NBA's best guards like Trae Young, Lamelo Ball, and Steph Curry.
For More Information on the floater check out the link here.
A running hook is very similar to a traditional post hook except this time you're going to be doing it on the move and extending the ball out on the other side of your body.
A reverse layup is pretty simple. It is basically a regular layup except as your going up you finish on the other side of the rim and you the basketball hoop as protection against opposing shot blockers.
Pro Tip: With A reverse layup it is important to show the ball and act like you are going up for a regular layup and then quickly move the ball into the reverse.
This allows you the element of surprise against your defender.
8. Understanding Momentum
What I mean by understanding momentum is understanding how much force you need to put on the ball depending on the speed at which you drive.
You will notice that the faster you go to the rim the more the ball will fly once it leaves your hands. That is why it is important o practice this and see how much force you need to put on the ball to shoot it into the basket.
Touch is your ability to skillfully place a ball in the direction you want it to go at the speed and pace you want the ball to go.
This can be a very hard skill to learn at first especially with opposing players trying to block your shot.
One thing I always recommend to players is practicing at game speed by themselves. This means driving hard to the basket and imagining yourself finishing at the basket-like it's the real thing.
Pro Tip: Another important skill regarding finishing and touch is learning how to spin the ball against the backboard.
One reason players should learn this skill is that it can allow you take to make and take tougher angled layups and shots around the rim.
For more information on spin layups check out the video below
Like anything in life and the game of basketball if you really want to improve in something you have to practice. Below I will give you two great drills you can use to practice your finishing abilities.
The Mikan drill is when you start right near the basket and go back and forth on both sides. What is so great about this drill is there are many different variations and methods you can do depending on what you want to work on.
One variation I like to use to make it fun is seeing how many layups I can make in 30 seconds. This is a fun way to make the drill both competitive, fun, and also a good conditioning workout.
One on One
This drill is more of a game than an actual drill, but if done right can be a great drill to improve your finishing abilities.
In order to design it to do so, I recommend players have the one-on-one close to the basket and give extra points for anything scored in the paint.
This emphasizes scoring near the basket and gives both players a great opportunity to work on their layups and finishes with another defender guarding them.
As you can see while there may be many different facets and strategies when it comes to scoring around the basket improving this part of your game can take you to a whole other level on the basketball court.
Please comment below, and I would also like to know what you all have done to improve this aspect of your game.
Thank you for reading and as always keep hooping my friends.