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Basketball Strategies

Basketball Strategies

Although basketball is a quick, think-on-your-feet game, having a well-thought-out strategy before the game begins is the key to winning.  Here are a few common strategies:
The point guard usually controls the offense.  He/she makes sure the ball gets to the right player at the right time.  The point guard must understand and accept the coach's game plan and make adjustments depending on the opposition’s defense.

All players need to master the triple threat position.  When in possession of the ball, the three options a player has are shoot, pass, or dribble.  To establish the triple-threat position the player should have the ball between shoulder and knee with the elbow behind the ball.  The non-dribbling hand should be on the ball to help protect it from the defender. This also will allow a quick change of hands with the ball.  Knees should be bent with your back straight and eyes up. Weight should be slightly on the ball of the player's feet, not on the heels.

When dribbling, a player’s eyes should be focused forward, in order to see the floor and open teammates.  It’s critical that a player always has an “escape” plan to get rid of the ball if the defensive pressure proves too great.  Choosing the correct type of pass depends on the situation.  The chest pass gives the best control and therefore is the most accurate.  A bounce pass should be used when an opponent is guarding with his/her arms up on defense.
One of the most popular basketball plays is the “give and go”.  This is where, after passing the ball to a teammate, the passer quickly cuts towards the basket to receive the ball back from a teammate for a lay-up.  Another common play is a screen which is used to block a defensive player and give a teammate a better chance of getting open.
Defensive strategies are important to master, as well.  When guarding an opponent, the correct position is to stay between the opponent and the basket.  Keeping hands up is also important so as to make a shot attempt or pass more difficult.
As a team, pressuring the ball in a full-court press is one effective strategy.  This is when the defense applies pressure to the offensive team the entire length of the court before and after the inbound pass.  Often the defense can force a turnover.
The two main defensive strategies are zone, where everyone guards an area instead of a player, and man-to-man where each player guards a specific player on the other team.

The next time you are watching a basketball game, see if you can identify any of these strategies.

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