There are two parts to the back door play option, the cut and the pass. At the moment a defender denies the passing lane to a player in a perimeter or high post position, that player executes a back door cut to the hoop. At the same moment, the player with the ball executes the pass, so that the ball and the cutter arrive at the hoop simultaneously.
Unless the passer and the cutter coordinate their thoughts and actions, a turnover is likely to result. For example, anticipating a back door cut, the player with the ball passes to the hoop, but the intended receiver does not cut. Or, a player executes a back door cut, just as the player with the ball passes to where the intended receiver was before he executed the cut.
To help the passer know when to pass and the cutter when to cut, both players should know the cue for executing this play option. A cue is a signal for executing any play option, such as the back door. Following are two sample cues: one when an intended receiver is occupying a perimeter position, the other at the moment an intended receiver enters a perimeter position.
When Occupying A Perimeter Position
A player who is occupying a perimeter position executes a back door cut when the player with the ball initiates, but does not execute, a pass to him. The player with the ball can "see" the defense. This leaves the intended receiver free to focus on receiving the pass. For example, in a two-guard front, the player in the right guard position initiates a pass to the teammate in the right forward position.
As he initiates the pass, the intended receiver calls for it, that is, is ready to receive it. Seeing the defender moving into the passing lane, the player with the ball does not execute the pass. Perceiving this cue, the intended receiver executes a back door cut.
When Entering A Perimeter Position
In a well-organized offensive framework, an intended receiver should receive a pass just as he enters a position. Not receiving the pass as he completes the stop is a cue to execute a back door cut. For example, in a two-guard front, the player with the ball is occupying the left guard position. A teammate who is occupying the right forward position moves to occupy the right guard position which is not occupied. He should be receiving the pass at the moment of coming to a complete stop in the guard position. Stopping and not receiving the pass cues the back door cut.