NBA Terminology: UCLA vs Hawk Cuts

I have decided to create a few new posts regarding NBA Terminology. Constantly I am always trying to figure out the terminology used by the best basketball coaches in the world to become a better teacher/coach. That is one reason why I absolutely love attending Orlando’s NBA Summer League. Not only do I get to sit with a lot of close friends and clients all day, but the intimate set-up allows you to sit court-side and really absorb what is going one without the distraction of the fans that are out in Las Vegas.

One thing that I learned from Boston Celtics Assistant Coach Kevin Eastman several years ago was to always have some type of writing utensil in hand no matter where you are. You never know when you will see or hear something you want to use. While I attended the Orlando Summer League I took my look spiral notebook and felt like a news reporter my pen was so busy.

The amount of focus NBA coaches put into scouting and guarding different actions based on the location on the floor is mind boggling. One thing that I talked to Detroit Pistons video coordinator Ryan Winters (we worked together at Florida) about was the difference between a UCLA cut and a Hawk cut. To the untrained eye, they both look like UCLA cuts; but that is not the case to the observing eyes of NBA coaches.

UCLA Cut: A UCLA cut is a cut off the post that is initiated first by a pass to the wing.
Hawk Cut: A Hawk cut is a cut off the post that is initiated by a dribble entry to the wing in which a pass does not occur.


So the next time you are watching an NBA game and you hear a coach yell out from the bench, “Get ready for the Hawk cut”, now you know what they are talking about.

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