If you want to be a better post player, you have to learn how to shoot the baby hook. This article will show you the fundamentals of the shot.
Tim Duncan was a post-up powerhouse.
There was this one game at the tail end of his career where he dominated a young Houston Rockets team with pure fundamentals.
He took a couple of long mid-range shots, but most of his points came from the post. He mainly just backed his defender down for various types of baby hooks.
He, 38 at the time, ended the game with 29 points on 12 of 15 shooting (no 3s). He also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked 3 shots, helping the San Antonio Spurs get the victory.
He was phenomenal this game. But if you watched the highlight video above, there wasn’t anything fancy about his performance. He just stuck to the fundamentals.
Another game where he mainly just used his post fundamentals and the baby hook was in his final NBA appearance. This was a playoff game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016.
Again, he had a great performance stats-wise, especially for a 39-year-old. But if you watched the recap carefully from beginning to end, you should have noticed that all but one of his shots were baby hooks.
Duncan ended the game with 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting (again, no 3s). But unfortunately, the Spurs lost what would be his final NBA game.
So, you want to learn how to do the baby hook now?
How to Shoot the Baby Hook
The baby hook is an easy and reliable shot that I think all players should learn. It’s a shot that you can go to when your other shots aren’t going in. It’s also a shot that you can use to take advantage of smaller match-ups.
So, here’s how you can develop a trusty baby hook (watch the video):
- Practice the bump and get comfortable with it. This is the most important part of the move
- Remember to stay low because you’ll have more control over your body
- Square up before shooting the baby hook
- I recommend working on it every time you play basketball. Try to make 10-15 baby hooks before you go and work on other skills
- A good complementary drill is the Mikan Drill (you can click here to learn it)
The tutorial above shows you how to do the core basics of the baby hook. But once you master the move, you should look to add more spice to it.
You should start practicing shooting it from various sides and angles and adding in dekes and fakes.
Benefits of Learning the Baby Hook
Similar to the bank shot, which you can learn how to shoot here, the baby hook was one of Duncan’s most relied-on (and most dangerous) shots. He used it against big players as well as small players.
It was a move that he used as a rookie all the way to his final game in the NBA.
And this is the reason why you should learn the baby hook and master it -it’s such a simple, sustainable, and effective shot that’s super reliable.
You can also customize it with footwork and fakes to make it your own too (like how Hakeem Olajuwon added in his shimmies and shakes to the basic hook shot).
But more importantly, the main reason you need to add this move to your bag is that it’s a fundamental move. And you want to be able to do as many fundamental moves as possible because this will make you a well-rounded basketball player.
The baby hook is a fantastic shot.
It’s the move that Duncan, the greatest power forward to ever play in the NBA, relied on to get back-to-back MVP titles, 5 championship titles, 3 Finals MVP titles, 15 All-Star appearances, and a Hall of Fame career.
He received all those accolades by just relying on this basic post-move.
So, isn’t that enough reason for you to start working your baby hooks?