This is an excerpt from Coaching Youth Basketball-5th Edition by American Sport Education Program & Don Showalter.
Offensive players use cuts to change direction quickly (while staying in balance) and “lose” their opponents in order to get open for passes or shots. Defenders will find it difficult to keep up if they are unable to respond correctly to the cut.
A player executes a cut by planting one foot on the court at the end of a slightly shortened stride, then pushing off that foot to shift his momentum in another direction. For example, if a player wants to cut to the right, he will first plant the left foot (see figure 4.3a) and then push off of it. Then, he will turn the unplanted foot in the direction he wants to go and will lead with that leg as he bursts in the new direction (see figure 4.3b). When cutting, a player should bend the knees to lower his center of gravity and provide explosiveness from the legs. After cutting, he should always strive to get his lead hand up as a target for a pass. If a player is off balance when making a cut, it is usually because of two things: The player is not low enough, and the player’s head is not over his feet.
Three types of cuts that offensive players use to get open are V-cuts, L-cuts, and backdoor cuts.