Word on the Street

Up-and-under (up and un’-duhr) noun. A move in which the offensive player makes a quick pump fake with the basketball, waits for the defender to jump into the air, and then steps through or ducks under for an open shot.

Usage example:Steve Nash scored on a sweet up-and-under against Jason Terry.

Speaking of which:

Most famous up-and-underer ever: With all due respect to guys like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Arvydas Sabonis, and Tim Duncan, Kevin McHale was, without question, the foremost master of the up-and-under move. He probably scored off that move at least four or five times a game. It helped that McHale had long, spindly arms that looked more like wriggling snakes than human appendages. It also helped that McHale‘s defenders knew he was going to shoot the ball pretty much every time he touched it (hence his nickname The Black Hole). According to Peter May’s The Big Three, McHale had a simple philosophy with regards to shot selection: “When there’s a double-team, shoot. When there’s a triple-team, pass.” And that philosophy was often on display as McHale used the up-and-under against two and (despite what he said) sometimes three defenders. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clip on YouTube of McHale scoring on an up-and-under. I did, however, find a video of McHale going up-and-under on Kurt Rambis‘ head…


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