A layup (also called a “dunk,” and occasionally called a “jump shot”) is a shot that requires the ball to go past two defenders in succession. A layup, more than a dribble, is often the shot most frequently contested on the court, because it is a high-advance shot that must be made with good control.
Who makes layups?
The play is most often made by a guard, who is often the best at making them, often because he has been taught to make them by a great teacher. The player who is most frequently contested on the court is the point guard, who takes the ball from the basket, passes to another player who shoots it to his teammates, and then dribbles it to the baseline while waiting for another defender to move away.
Is all Layups a Good Shot?
Layups can also be defended by a guard, whose primary duty is to protect the ball. The best shot defenders have very quick hands, and they often use them to pull down opponents before they can get up off of their feet.
Layups come very naturally for some athletes. Take this one from Bill Russell:
Here, Russell shoots a layup with his right arm, while his right arm is in the air and his left hand is moving toward the shooter. The shot looks easy, but it’s difficult for an athlete to make with the limited distance between them, their arm, and the basket.
Even though Russell seems pretty athletic, in this situation he does an excellent job, because the defender’s body is moving so naturally, and his arm is so quick, that his hand is still moving in the air when he makes that shot.
The difficulty of making Layups
There are some players who have excellent mechanics, but make very poor layups. It doesn’t just happen; it can even be the cause of an embarrassing, one-and-done situation. In this case, the player was a defensive genius named Grant Hill, who can make all sorts of layups, but is particularly good at making them under pressure.
Hill makes a few of these in this video, and you can see why:
There’s so much pressure applied on him during the layup attempt, that when it’s completed without any contact to his body, his body gets knocked up and out of the play as he attempts to catch it, and he hits the bottom of the basket. Hill can also get
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