AskDefine | Define layup

Dictionary Definition

lay-up n : a basketball shot made with one hand from a position under or beside the basket (and usually banked off the backboard) [syn: layup]layup n : a basketball shot made with one hand from a position under or beside the basket (and usually banked off the backboard) [syn: lay-up]

User Contributed Dictionary



layup, also lay-up
  1. A close-range shot in which the shooter banks the ball off the backboard.
  2. A relatively easy task.
    Meeting the numbers will be a layup, if not a slam dunk.

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Extensive Definition

A layup in basketball is a two point attempt made by leaping from below, laying the ball up near the basket, and using one hand to tip the ball over the rim and into the basket (layin) or to bank it off the backboard and into the basket (layup). The motion and one-handed reach distinguish it from a jump shot. The layup is considered the most basic shot in basketball.
An undefended layup is usually a high percentage shot. The main obstacle is getting near the rim and avoiding blocks by taller defenders who usually stand near the basket. Common layup strategies are to create space, releasing the ball from different spots or use an alternate hand. A player tall enough to reach over the rim might choose to perform a more spectacular and higher percentage slam dunk (dropping or throwing the ball from above the rim) instead.
To play a safer layup, you can hold it with two hands, that way it is harder to block and you take two steps so that distinguishes it from the jump shot.
As the game has evolved through the years, so has the layup. Several different versions of the layup are around today. Layups can be broadly categorized into two types: the underarm and the overarm. The underarm layup involves using most of the wrist and the fingers to 'lay' the ball into the basket or off the board. The underarm layup is more commonly known as the finger roll. Notable current NBA players who rely heavily on the underarm finger roll are Mike Bibby of Atlanta, Allen Iverson of Denver and Jason Williams of Miami.
Finger-rolls today have many forms, including the Around the World which involves a complete circle around the player before the layup and a variety of faking in the approach to the rim. A classic example is a play by Jason Williams (currently of Miami) during his time with Sacramento, in which Williams brings the ball behind his back with his right hand, in a fake of a back pass, and then brings it front again with the same hand for the finish (reminiscent of Bob Cousy who pioneered the move).
The other layup is the overhand shot, similar to a jump shot but from a considerably close range. Overhand layups almost always involved the action of the backboard. Players like Scottie Pippen (formerly from Chicago) and Karl Malone (formerly Utah) have used this move to great effect.
layup in German: Korbleger
layup in French: Double-pas
layup in Chinese: 上篮
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