Shot-fakes work great. It is wonderful fun to watch an opponent go sailing over your head after a faked shot, just as it is fun for him to leap and put your shot into the ninth row. In fact, it is so much fun to knock a ball into the ninth row, that the mere possibility of it will make most defenders try for it again and again without even considering how often they are getting faked out and made to look stupid instead.
The good thing for shot-fakers is that this situation is not likely to change. Fans don’t hate a defender who leaps out of position nearly as much as they love one who occasionally knocks a ball into the stands. So, since players do love to please fans, there will always be players who are anxious to leap and make you look good if you have the patience to fake before you shoot the ball.
The essentials of the shot-fake aren’t difficult at all, though most inexperienced players incorrectly imagine a shot-fake being a motion with the ball toward the basket. A good shot-fake is a bend of the knees and a look at the rim with the ball cocked at the chin. From that position you can do anything—shoot, drive into the basket or throw a quick pass. It is a mistake to go through with the upward motion of the ball. (You think a blocked shot is bad; imagine the disgrace of a blocked fake.) A cock at the chin and a look at the rim is all you need to make the defender leap provided you are in a position of danger. Of course, if you are not, the greatest motion in the world, including an actual shot itself, won’t make the defender budge. If you cock and look, and the defender doesn’t move, it’s time to go for it. Take the shot.
The most important thing with a fake-pass or a fake-drive or a fake- shot is that you fake to a position that will gain you an advantage if your opponent doesn’t go for it. Step to a position so that you can drive right from there if the defender doesn’t move. Fake a pass in such a way that if the defender doesn’t stick his hand there, you can pass right from there. And fake a shot in such a way that if your opponent doesn’t go for the fake, you are ready to shoot immediately with no other movement.
Some coaches call the inside shot-fake a “pump fake,” since all you do is make a quick pumping motion with your body while the ball stays by your chin and your knees stay bent. You are ready to shoot immediately after the fake, or even during the fake if it is clear that the defender has no intention (or capability) of blocking your shot.
From Dick’s book Stuff