NBA 2K18 Tips: How to Move Without the Ball Effectively

Moving without the ball is a skill and intangible that players like Reggie Miller, Klay Thompson, and Richard Hamilton perfected to get themselves buckets.  It’s not always on the ball handler/passer to make the pass, the responsibility is also on you to try to get open, move effectively without the ball, maintain good spacing, and become an open target for the pass.  The same way it’s on a Wide Receiver to get open for his Quarterback in football.

Here are a few quick, common sense tips on how to move without the ball in Pro-Am, MyCAREER, the Playground, or Team Up.

Screen and Roll

The most fundamental play in basketball, done by setting a screen on the ball handler’s man and then rolling to the basket. This move without the ball will usually force a switch or indecision on the defender’s part, and create opportunities for the offense.

Pick and Pop / Pick and Fade

If your player is a good outside shooter, set a screen for the ball handler then fade to the outside. Especially effective if you have a big man guarding you, who’s natural instinct / tendency is to protect the rim. This will either leave space open for your shot if he retreats to the hoop, or bring him out to the perimeter for a major mismatch.

Spot Up

Chillin’ out at the 3 pt line corners or 3 pt wing are the best areas to spot up.  Spreading out helps to create space for your teammates to drive the lane, throw an ally-oop to another teammate, draw and kick out to you for the open shot, etc. It helps if your player has a decent outside shot, or the defender usually won’t respect the spot up and will sag off and dare you to shoot.


This is a common and simple basketball cut, in the shape of the letter “L” (player starting from inside and L-cutting to the outside), and is an effective cut to get free of your man and catch the ball in stride for an outside shot.

Backdoor Cut

If you’re in the corner and the defender is playing you super tight, a quick backdoor cut would be the solution to that and can net you some nice backdoor buckets.

Off-ball Screen

Well-timed and coordinated off-ball screens don’t seem to be utilized enough.  This is a deliberate and easy way to try to jump start player movement, create mismatches, and it can create some nice opportunities for your teammates or your own player when timed right. This can become a very effective on-the-fly “mini-play” if everyone (passer, screener, and the player coming off the screen) is recognizing the action.

Bluffing / Faking / Baiting

You want to keep your defender and the opponent guessing and on his toes.  Being unpredictable with effective fakes is a skill.  This may last all game long, where the defender thinks he has learned your tendency.  If you mix it up, it will keep the defender off-balanced mentally on what exactly your movement patterns are.

Hope these tips have helped your game or your squad, be sure to check back here for more upcoming NBA 2K18 Tips.

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