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The Up and Under: Crafty Finishing Around the Rim

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    Sports Tips

The Up and Under: Crafty Finishing Around the Rim

One of the most effective and versatile moves in a basketball player's arsenal is the "Up and Under." This classic post move is a staple for players navigating the paint, especially when faced with taller defenders. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a budding baller, mastering the up and under can add a significant edge to your game.

What is the Up and Under?

The up and under is a deceptive move that combines a fake shot with a quick pivot and finish. Its primary purpose is to get the defender off their feet with the fake, allowing the offensive player to step around and score uncontested.

Breaking Down the Move

Steps to Execute an Up and Under

  1. Post Up Position:

    • Initiate Contact: Begin by establishing position with your back to the basket, understanding the importance of footwork and balance.
    • Protect the Ball: Keep the ball away from the defender by shielding it with your body.
  2. Fake the Shot:

    • Make it Convincing: Use a strong upward motion to sell the fake. Raise your eyes and shoulders to mimic a genuine shot.
    • Watch the Defender: The objective is to get the defender airborne or off balance.
  3. Pivot and Step Through:

    • Quick Pivot: As the defender bites on the fake, pivot on your grounded foot and step around the defender.
    • Keep Ball Control: Use your body to maintain control and protect the ball from defensive swipes.
  4. Finish at the Rim:

    • Use the Backboard: Aim for a high-percentage shot, often using the backboard to absorb any contact.
    • Stay Balanced: Maintain your composure through the finish, using soft touch around the rim.

Visual Guide

Below is a simple table illustrating the core elements of the up and under move:

StepActionKey Focus
Post Up PositionEstablish position with back to basketBalance and foot positioning
Fake the ShotConvincing upward motionSell the shot effectively
Pivot and Step ThroughQuick pivot around the defenderFootwork and ball control
Finish at the RimUse of backboard, soft touchComposure and balance

Situational Use and Tips

When to Use the Up and Under

  • Against Taller Defenders: When faced with a shot-blocker, the up and under can create space and outmaneuver them.
  • In the Post: Perfect for big men or players who frequently operate in the paint.
  • Close Games: High percentage move that can secure crucial points.

Additional Tips

  • Patience is Key: Rushing the move can lead to turnovers; take your time and read the defender.
  • Strength Training: A strong core and lower body can enhance your ability to execute the move efficiently.
  • Film Study: Watching great post players like Hakeem Olajuwon or Tim Duncan can provide valuable insights.

Practicing the Move

Set aside time in each practice to work on your up and under technique. Here's a basic drill to get started:

  1. Partner Drill:

    • Work with a teammate who plays defense, allowing you to practice the move in a game-like scenario.
    • Alternate roles to give both players the opportunity to refine their skills.
  2. Solo Drill:

    • Use a stationary object like a chair to simulate a defender.
    • Execute the move repeatedly on both sides of the basket to build muscle memory.


The up and under is a timeless move that remains effective in today’s game. It's a blend of skill, patience, and deceptive genius that can break down even the stingiest of defenses. With dedication and practice, any player can add this crafty finish to their repertoire, making them a more formidable force around the rim. So lace up your sneakers, hit the court, and start perfecting your up and under today!

Happy Hooping! 🏀