Air ball – is a shot that completely misses the rim and the backboard, and instead goes straight through the air. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as a miscalculation in the shooter’s aim or an unexpected obstacle like a defender’s block. When an air ball is made, possession of the ball is typically awarded to the opposing team.
Alley-oop – is a play in which a player throws the ball up towards the basket, and a teammate jumps and catches the ball in midair to score a basket. The term “alley-oop” is often used to describe a lob pass that is intended for this type of play.
Alley-oop dunk – is a variation of the alley-oop play, in which the catching player dunks the ball through the basket after catching it in midair. This is a particularly impressive play, as it requires a great deal of athleticism and coordination between the two players involved.
Anchor – In basketball, an anchor is a player who provides stability and support to the team. This player is typically a strong defender and rebounder and may be tasked with guarding the opponent’s most talented player. The anchor is an important part of a team’s defensive strategy, as it can help to shut down the opponent’s offense and prevent them from scoring.
And-one – is a term used to describe a situation in which a player is fouled while making a shot, but still manages to score the basket. In this situation, the player is awarded one free throw attempt, which they can use to score an additional point if successful.
Assist – is a statistic that measures a player’s ability to create scoring opportunities for their teammates. An assist is awarded when a player passes the ball to a teammate, who then scores a basket without taking any additional dribbles. Assists are an important measure of a player’s passing ability and overall contribution to the team’s offense.
Assist-to-turnover Ratio – The assist-to-turnover ratio is a statistic that measures a player’s passing efficiency. This ratio is calculated by dividing the number of assists a player makes by the number of turnovers they commit. A high assist-to-turnover ratio indicates that a player is able to make good decisions with the ball and avoid costly mistakes.
Back Door Cut – is a type of offensive play in which a player cuts behind their defender and towards the basket, in order to receive a pass and score a basket. This type of play is effective when the defense is focused on guarding the ball and the front of the court and can catch the defense off guard if executed properly.
Backboard – is the rectangular board that is attached to the basket. The backboard is used to help players aim their shots and also serves as a surface for the ball to bounce off of when a shot is missed. The backboard is an important part of the basketball court, and its dimensions and materials are carefully regulated to ensure fair play.
Ball – is the spherical object that is used to play the game of basketball. The ball is typically made of leather or synthetic materials and must meet certain size and weight requirements in order to be used in an official game.
Ball Control – is a term used to describe a player’s ability to maintain possession of the ball and avoid turnovers. Good ball control requires a combination of skills such as dribbling, passing, and protecting the ball from defenders.
Ball handler is a player who is responsible for controlling the ball and directing the offense. The ball handler is typically a guard or point guard and must have excellent dribbling and passing skills in order to be effective.
Bank shot is a type of shot in which the ball is bounced off the backboard before going through the basket. Bank shots are often used when shooting from a difficult angle or when the defender is blocking a direct shot.
Baseline – is the line at the end of the court, behind each basket. The baseline is an important part of the court and is used to define the playing area.
Baseline Out of Bounds is a situation in which the ball is thrown in from out of bounds along the baseline. This can happen when the ball goes out of bounds under the basket, or when a player steps on the baseline while in possession of the ball.
Baseline out-of-bounds play – is a set play that is designed to score a basket from a baseline out-of-bounds situation. These plays often involve multiple players and can be very effective when executed properly.
Basket – is the hoop and net that the ball is thrown through in order to score a point. The basket is typically made of metal and is attached to the backboard.
Bench – is the area on the sideline where the team’s substitutes sit during the game. The bench is an important part of the team’s strategy, as the coach may choose to substitute players in and out of the game in order to adjust the team’s performance.
Block – is a defensive move in which a player jumps up to stop an opposing player’s shot. Blocks can be very effective in disrupting the opposing team’s offense and can lead to turnovers and fast break opportunities for the defensive team.
Blocking Foul: A blocking foul occurs when a defensive player impedes the progress of an offensive player who is in the act of shooting, driving, or dribbling. This is typically done by the defender moving into the offensive player’s path while they are moving. If the foul occurs while the offensive player is shooting, they will typically be awarded free throws.
Bounce pass: is a type of pass in basketball where the ball is thrown off the floor toward a teammate. This pass is particularly effective when the defender is playing tight defense and there is no clear path for a direct pass. The ball should be bounced with enough force so that it reaches the intended target without being intercepted by the defender.
Box-and-one defense: is a basketball defensive strategy that involves four players playing a zone defense and one player playing man-to-man defense on the opposing team’s best player. This strategy is used to deny the opposing team’s best player the ball and force the other players to beat the defense.
Box-Out: is a fundamental defensive technique in basketball where a player positions themselves between the basket and their opponent, with the goal of preventing the opponent from getting a rebound. The player uses their body to establish a position that is difficult for the opponent to move and then jumps to get the rebound.
Breakdown drill: is a practice drill used to focus on a specific basketball skill or technique. It involves breaking down the skill into smaller parts and practicing each part individually before putting everything back together. This technique is commonly used by coaches to help players improve specific aspects of their game.
Bucket: In basketball, a bucket refers to a successful shot made by a player. The term can be used to refer to any type of successful shot, including a layup, jump shot, or three-pointer.
Bullpen: In basketball, the bullpen is a term used to describe the area where substitute players wait to enter the game. It is typically located near the scorer’s table on the sideline of the court.
Buzzer Beater: is a shot made at the very end of a game, just before the buzzer sounds to signal the end of the game. These shots are often difficult and are made under high-pressure situations.
Charge: is a defensive play in basketball where a defender establishes a legal guarding position and the offensive player runs into them. If the referee deems that the defender was in a legal guarding position, then the offensive player is charged with a foul and the ball is turned over to the defending team.
Charge circle: is a painted area on the court underneath the basket that is used to determine if a player has established legal guarding position when taking a charge. If the defensive player is inside the circle, then they cannot be charged with a blocking foul.
Cherry picking: is a basketball strategy where a player stays in the opposing team’s half of the court in order to get an easy basket when their team gains possession of the ball. This strategy can be effective but is also risky as it leaves the opposing team with a numerical advantage on defense.
Chest Pass: is a type of pass in basketball where the ball is thrown directly from the passer’s chest to the chest of their teammate. This pass is typically used when the passer is close to their teammate and there are no defenders in between.
Coach: is a person who is responsible for overseeing and directing a basketball team. The coach is responsible for developing game strategies, making substitutions, and providing feedback to players to help them improve their skills.
Coach’s Challenge: is a system in basketball where a coach can challenge a referee’s decision during a game. The challenge can only be used in certain situations, such as an out-of-bounds call or a foul, and the coach must have a timeout remaining to use the challenge. If the challenge is successful, the call is overturned and the coach retains their timeout. If the challenge is unsuccessful, the coach loses their timeout.
Court: is the playing surface where basketball games are held. It is typically rectangular in shape and measures 94 feet long by 50 feet wide in the NBA. The court is divided into two halves by a midcourt line, and each half contains a basket at either end. The court also contains various markings, such as the three-point line and the free-throw line, which are used to determine scoring and fouls.
Cross Screen: is an offensive basketball play where a player moves across the court to set a screen on a defender guarding another offensive player. This type of screen is designed to free up the offensive player and create an open scoring opportunity.
Crossover: is a dribbling move in basketball where a player quickly changes direction by bouncing the ball from one hand to the other. This move is often used to get past a defender and create scoring opportunities.
Cut: is an offensive basketball play where a player quickly moves towards the basket without the ball in order to receive a pass from a teammate. This type of play is often used to create open scoring opportunities.
Cutthroat: is a type of basketball game where three or more players compete against each other. The game is played in a half-court setting and each player is responsible for their own scoring. The player with the lowest score at the end of each round is eliminated, and the last player remaining wins.
Dead ball: is a term used in basketball to describe a stoppage in play. This can occur for a variety of reasons, such as a foul, a violation, or a timeout.
Defense: is the strategy used by a basketball team to prevent the opposing team from scoring. This involves various techniques, such as guarding opposing players, blocking shots, and creating turnovers.
Defensive rebound: is a type of rebound in basketball where a player on the defensive team retrieves the ball after a missed shot by the opposing team. Defensive rebounds are important because they prevent the opposing team from getting another scoring opportunity.
Deuce: is a term used in basketball to describe a two-point shot. This term is often used in casual or informal games.
Diamond-and-one defense: is a basketball defensive strategy where four players play a zone defense and one player plays man-to-man defense on the opposing team’s best player. This strategy is similar to the box-and-one defense, but the positioning of the defenders creates a diamond shape.
Double dribble: is a violation in basketball where a player dribbles the ball with both hands or stops dribbling and then begins dribbling again. This violation results in a turnover and possession of the ball being awarded to the opposing team.
Double team: is a defensive strategy in basketball where two players work together to guard an opposing player. This is typically used to prevent a skilled offensive player from scoring or passing the ball effectively.
Down screen: is an offensive basketball play where a player moves down towards the baseline to set a screen on a defender guarding another offensive player. This type of screen is often used to create open scoring opportunities.
Draw foul: is a basketball strategy where an offensive player deliberately makes contact with a defender in order to force the defender to commit a foul. This strategy is often used to get to the free-throw line and score points.
Dribble: is the act of bouncing the ball with one hand while moving around the court. Dribbling is an essential skill in basketball and is used to move the ball around the court and create scoring opportunities.
Drop step: is a post move in basketball where a player catches the ball near the basket, takes a step back with one foot, and then uses that foot to pivot towards the basket and shoot or pass the ball. This move is often used by post players to create scoring opportunities.
Dunk: is a type of shot in basketball where a player jumps and forcefully throws the ball down into the basket. Dunks are often performed by taller and more athletic players and are considered one of the most exciting plays in basketball.
Elbow Jump Shot: is a type of shot in basketball where a player takes a jump shot from the area near the free throw line and the edge of the key. This type of shot is often used by players who are not comfortable shooting from further out.
End Line: is the boundary line that runs behind each basket and marks the end of the court. If a player touches the ball while standing on or over the end line, the ball is considered out of bounds.
Eurostep: is a move in basketball where a player takes a quick step in one direction and then quickly changes direction with a second step in the opposite direction. This move is often used to get past a defender and create scoring opportunities.
Fadeaway Shot: is a type of jump shot in basketball where the player jumps backwards while shooting the ball, creating space between themselves and the defender. This move is often used by players who are closely guarded and need to create space to shoot.
Fast Break: is a type of offensive basketball play where the team quickly moves the ball down the court in an attempt to score before the defense can get set up. This type of play often involves a long pass to a player who is already near the basket.
Fast Break Drill: is a basketball drill where players practice moving the ball quickly down the court and scoring before the defense can get set up. This drill is often used to improve a team’s offensive efficiency.
Finger Roll: is a type of shot in basketball where the player rolls the ball off their fingertips and into the basket. This move is often used by players who are driving towards the basket and need to avoid a defender.
Five-Second Violation: is a basketball violation where a player with the ball is closely guarded for more than five seconds without dribbling, passing, or shooting the ball. This violation results in a turnover and possession of the ball being awarded to the opposing team.
Fixer: is a term used in basketball to describe someone who arranges for the outcome of a game to be determined beforehand. This is considered illegal and unethical.
Floater: is a type of shot in basketball where the player shoots the ball with a high, floating motion, often used when the player is driving towards the basket. This type of shot is effective when the player is closely guarded and needs to shoot over a defender.
Follow Through: is a term used in basketball to describe the continuation of a player’s shooting motion after they have released the ball. A good follow through is important for accuracy and consistency in shooting.
Forced Turnover: is a type of turnover in basketball where the opposing team loses possession of the ball because of pressure or defensive play by the other team.
Foul: is a violation in basketball where a player makes illegal contact with an opposing player. This can result in free throws, possession of the ball being awarded to the opposing team, or even disqualification from the game.
Four-Corner Offense: is a basketball offensive strategy where the team spreads out and passes the ball around the perimeter of the court, often used to stall for time and preserve a lead.
Fourth Quarter: is the final period of play in a basketball game. This is often the most intense and competitive part of the game, as teams try to secure a win or overcome a deficit.
Franchise Player: is a term used in basketball to describe a player who is considered the cornerstone of a team’s success. Franchise players are often the highest-paid and most valuable players on a team.
Free Throw: is a type of shot in basketball that is awarded to a player after a foul by the opposing team. The player takes the shot from the free throw line and is not allowed to be guarded by the opposing team until the ball is released.
Free Throw Line: is a boundary line on the basketball court that marks the location where free throws are taken. The line is located 15 feet from the backboard and is parallel to the baseline.
Free Throw Percentage: is a statistic in basketball that measures the percentage of free throws a player makes. This is an important metric for evaluating a player’s shooting ability and overall effectiveness.
Frontcourt: is the half of the basketball court that includes the offensive team’s basket. Players on the offensive team must stay in the frontcourt during the game.
Full-Court Press: is a defensive strategy in basketball where the defensive team applies pressure to the opposing team for the entire length of the court. This strategy is often used to force turnovers and create scoring opportunities.
Full-Court Shot: is a type of shot in basketball where a player attempts to make a basket from the opposite end of the court. This is a difficult and rare shot that is often attempted as a last-second play at the end of a quarter or game.
Fundamentals: are the basic skills and techniques that are essential for success in basketball. These include shooting, dribbling, passing, and rebounding.
Garbage Man: is a term used in basketball to describe a player who excels at cleaning up missed shots and grabbing rebounds. This is an important role on any team and requires a combination of athleticism and positioning.
Give and Go: is a basketball offensive strategy where a player passes the ball to a teammate and then immediately cuts towards the basket to receive a return pass and attempt a shot.
Give and Go Pass: is a type of pass in basketball where a player passes the ball to a teammate and then immediately cuts towards the basket to receive a return pass and attempt a shot.
Goaltending: is a basketball violation where a defensive player interferes with a shot that is on its way down towards the basket. This results in the opposing team being awarded points.
Half-Court: is the term used to describe the area of the basketball court that is between the midcourt line and the team’s respective basket. This area is where a team sets up its offense.
Half-Court Offense: is a basketball offensive strategy that is designed to be run in the frontcourt. This strategy often involves setting screens and using passing to create scoring opportunities.
Half-Time: is the period of the game where there is a break in play between the second and third quarters. This break is typically 15 minutes long and is used for teams to rest and make adjustments to their strategies.
Hand in the Cookie Jar: is a phrase used in basketball to describe a player who reaches in and makes contact with an opposing player’s hand while they are dribbling. This is often called for a foul.
Harlem Globetrotters: are a professional basketball team known for their entertaining and comedic style of play. They are famous for their tricks, ball-handling skills, and showmanship.
High Percentage Shot: A high percentage shot is a type of shot in basketball that has a high probability of scoring. These shots are usually taken close to the basket and have a high shooting percentage.
High-Low Offense: is a basketball offensive strategy that utilizes players both inside and outside of the key to create scoring opportunities. This strategy often involves passing the ball between high and low post players.
Hook and Hold: is a type of illegal contact in basketball where a player uses their arm to hook an opposing player’s arm and then hold them in place. This is often called for a foul.
Hook Shot: A hook shot is a type of shot in basketball where a player shoots the ball with a sweeping motion using one hand. This shot is often used by post players who are close to the basket.
H-O-R-S-E: is a basketball game played between two or more players. In this game, players take turns attempting shots from various spots on the court. If a player makes a shot, the other players must attempt the same shot. If they miss, they receive a letter. The first player to spell out “HORSE” loses the game.
Illegal Defense: Illegal defense is a basketball violation where a defensive player is not in a legal defensive position. This can result in a technical foul being called against the defending team.
Illegal Screen: An illegal screen is a basketball violation where an offensive player sets a screen in an illegal manner. This can result in a foul being called against the offensive player.
Inbound Pass: An inbound pass is a type of pass in basketball that is made when the ball is out of bounds. This pass is used to get the ball back into play.
Inside Pivot: An inside pivot is a footwork technique used in basketball where a player keeps one foot stationary while pivoting on the other foot. This allows the player to change directions quickly while maintaining control of the ball.
Intentional Foul: An intentional foul is a type of foul in basketball where a player makes contact with an opposing player with the intention of stopping play or preventing a score.
Intentional Foul Shot: An intentional foul shot is a type of free throw in basketball that is awarded to a player after an intentional foul is committed by the opposing team. The player takes the shot from the free throw line and is not allowed to be guarded by the opposing team until the ball is released.
In-the-Paint: “In-the-paint” is a term used in basketball to describe the area inside the key or lane. This area is where many scoring opportunities occur.
Iso (Isolation Play): Iso, short for isolation play, is a basketball offensive strategy that involves clearing out one side of the court and allowing a single player to go one-on-one against a defender.
Jawing: “Jawing” is a term used in basketball to describe trash talking between players. This can be used to distract opposing players and gain a mental edge.
Jump ball: A method of starting play where the ball is tossed up between two opposing players who attempt to tap the ball to their teammates.
Jump Ball Violation: A rule violation that occurs when a player jumps too soon during a jump ball, making contact with the ball before it reaches the highest point of the toss.
Jump hook: A move where the offensive player takes a one-handed shot while jumping and extending their arm to hook the ball towards the rim.
Jump Shot: A type of shot in which the player jumps off the ground while shooting the ball, giving the shot more arc and distance.
Jump stop: A technique used by players when stopping their movement, where they jump off both feet and land at the same time, allowing them to pivot or pass the ball effectively.
Key (paint): The painted area on the basketball court includes the free-throw line, the restricted area circle, and the lane lines.
Kill: A term used to describe when a player makes a basket that breaks the opposing team’s momentum or scoring run.
Kilowatt defense: An aggressive and intense defensive strategy where defenders pressure the ball and deny passing lanes, causing turnovers and disrupting the opponent’s offense.
Lay-up: A type of shot where the player runs towards the basket and gently lays the ball off the backboard and into the hoop.
Layup drill: A practice exercise where players practice running towards the basket and performing layups from different angles.
Legitimate defensive position: A position on the court where the defender establishes their position before the offensive player initiates contact.
Little man: A term used to describe a smaller, quick guard who often plays in the backcourt and specializes in ball handling and scoring.
Loose Ball: A ball that is not in possession of any player, usually resulting in a scramble for the ball.
Low post: The area on the court closest to the basket, usually within a few feet of the rim.
Low-Post Player: A player who specializes in playing close to the basket, using their strength and height to score inside the paint.
Magic Johnson: A former professional basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, known for his exceptional ball-handling, passing, and leadership skills.
Man Advantage: A situation where a team has one or more players than the opposing team on the court due to fouls or ejections.
Man in the Middle: The player who lines up in the center of the court during a jump ball, responsible for tapping the ball to their teammates.
Man-to-man coverage: A defensive strategy where each defender is assigned to cover one offensive player on the opposing team, attempting to prevent them from scoring.
Man-to-man defense: A type of defense in which each player guards an assigned offensive player and follows them around the court, often switching as needed to prevent scoring.
Midcourt: The area of the court that divides it into two halves, marked by the center line and the jump circle.
Middle jumper: A type of jump shot taken from the middle of the court, often just inside the free-throw line.
Move without the ball: A fundamental offensive strategy where players without the ball move around the court to get open for a pass or shot.
Natural shooting motion: The way a player naturally shoots the ball, often developed through years of practice and muscle memory.
NBA: The National Basketball Association, a professional basketball league in North America made up of 30 teams.
Net: The string or cord attached to the basketball hoop that hangs down and helps to indicate whether a shot was successful.
Next man up: A philosophy used when a player is injured or unable to play, where another player on the team takes their place and steps up to fulfill their role.
Not in my house: A phrase used to indicate a player’s defensive prowess, often yelled when they successfully block an opposing player’s shot.
Offense: The team that has possession of the ball and is attempting to score points by shooting the ball into the opponent’s basket.
Offensive rebound: A type of rebound where the team on offense retrieves a missed shot from their own team and gains another possession.
One-and-One: A type of free-throw situation in which a player has the opportunity to shoot a second free throw if they make the first one.
Out of Bounds: The area of the court outside the boundaries marked by the sidelines and end lines, resulting in a turnover if the ball goes out of bounds.
Outlet Pass: A type of pass made by the player who retrieves a defensive rebound, intended to quickly move the ball up the court and start a fast break.
Over the back: A foul that occurs when a player reaches over the back of another player to try and grab a rebound or block a shot.
Overhead Pass: A type of pass where the ball is thrown over the head of the passer, often used to get the ball to a player on the other side of the court.
Pass fake: A move made by a player to deceive the defender into thinking that the player is going to pass the ball to a teammate in one direction, but instead, the player passes the ball in another direction or keeps it to themselves.
Perimeter: The area outside the key (or paint) and the three-point line, usually referring to the area near the sidelines and baseline.
Personal foul: A foul committed by a player against an opponent, which may result in free throws or other penalties depending on the situation.
Pick: A screen set by an offensive player on a defender, with the intention of creating space for the offensive player or their teammate to take a shot or make a play.
Pick and pop: A play in which a player sets a pick and then moves to an open area to receive a pass and take a shot, instead of rolling to the basket like in a pick and roll.
Pin screen: A type of screen in which an offensive player sets a screen for a teammate by standing still and holding their ground, rather than moving towards the defender like in a traditional screen.
Pivot: A move used by a player to change direction while keeping one foot stationary, often used to create space for a shot or to evade a defender.
Point forward: A player, typically a small forward or power forward, who has excellent ball-handling and passing skills and is able to play as a point guard in certain situations.
Point guard: The primary ball-handler and playmaker on a team, usually responsible for setting up plays and initiating the offense.
Possession: Refers to which team currently has the ball, with possession changing hands after a turnover, made basket, or other specific events.
Post-up: A play in which an offensive player positions themselves in the low post, usually with their back to the basket, in order to receive a pass and take a shot or make a play.
Power forward: A forward who is usually taller and stronger than a small forward, but smaller and more mobile than a center, and who typically plays near the basket and/or in the mid-range area.
Press: A defensive strategy in which players apply aggressive, full-court pressure on the opposing team in order to force turnovers or disrupt their offense.
Pump fake: A move made by a player to fake out a defender, in which the player pretends to start a shot or pass, but then quickly brings the ball back down to their waist to make the defender jump or reach for the ball.
Pure shooter: A player who excels at shooting the ball and has a high shooting percentage, often due to their excellent technique and form.
Putback: A type of offensive rebound in which a player catches the ball after it bounces off the rim or backboard and immediately scores a basket.
Quick break: A fast break play in which the offense quickly moves the ball up the court in order to score before the defense has a chance to set up.
Rebound: The act of catching or retrieving a missed shot or a free throw, often by jumping up and grabbing the ball with both hands.
Rebound drill: A practice exercise designed to improve a player’s ability to grab rebounds, which involves setting up different rebounding scenarios and having players work on their positioning, timing, and technique.
Rebound Percentage: A statistic that measures the percentage of missed shots that a player or team rebounds. It is calculated by dividing the total number of rebounds by the total number of missed shots.
Reverse Lay-up: A type of lay-up shot that is performed on the opposite side of the rim from the player’s shooting hand. It involves taking off on the outside foot, jumping across the lane, and laying the ball up off the backboard with the inside hand.
Rip through move: A move that involves catching the ball on the perimeter, using a fake to get the defender off-balance, then driving to the basket with a quick, explosive step.
Rodman rebound: A type of rebound that involves aggressively pursuing the ball and outworking opponents for the rebound, often using unconventional techniques such as jumping into the stands or diving on the floor.
Run and Gun: A fast-paced style of basketball that emphasizes quick shots, fast breaks, and aggressive play on both ends of the court.
Runner: A type of shot that involves a player taking a few dribbles and then jumping off one foot to shoot the ball while in motion.
Saddle: A term used to describe a position on the court where a player is directly between the ball and their opponent, making it difficult for the opponent to get around them.
Scissor cut: A type of cut made by a player without the ball, in which they cross their legs and quickly change direction in order to get open for a pass.
Screen: A technique used by an offensive player to impede the progress of a defender, typically by standing in their path or making contact with them.
Shackles: A term used to describe a situation where a player is being heavily guarded or locked down by a defender, limiting their ability to move or score.
Shootaround: A pre-game warm-up session where players take shots and run through offensive and defensive drills.
Shooter: A player who is known for their ability to shoot the ball accurately and effectively from the field.
Shooter’s roll: A term used to describe a situation where a shot bounces off the rim or backboard, but then falls through the hoop.
Shooting guard: A position in basketball typically played by a player who specializes in shooting the ball from the perimeter and cutting to the basket.
Shooting Percentage: A statistic that measures a player’s shooting accuracy, calculated by dividing the number of made shots by the total number of attempted shots.
Short corner: An area on the court located along the baseline, just outside the paint, where offensive players can catch the ball and shoot from a short distance.
Shot clock: A timer used in basketball to limit the amount of time that a team has to shoot the ball before it must be rebounded by the other team.
Shot fake: A fake motion made by a player with the ball, in order to get the defender off-balance and create space for a shot or drive.
Side step: A move used by a ball handler to quickly move laterally and create space for a shot or drive.
Sky Hook: A shooting technique in basketball where a player extends their arm and releases the ball in a high arc towards the basket. This technique is most associated with former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Sky walker: A term used to describe a player with excellent jumping ability, often used to describe a player who is able to jump very high for rebounds or dunks.
Slam dunk: A dunk shot where a player jumps up and forcefully throws the ball down into the basket.
Sleeper dribble: A dribbling move used to deceive the defender by changing the pace and speed of the dribble.
Spot up shooter: A player who specializes in catching and shooting the ball without dribbling, usually positioned on the perimeter and waiting for the ball to come to them.
Steal: When a defensive player takes the ball away from an offensive player without fouling them.
Streaking: When a player is on a scoring run, making several consecutive baskets or points.
Strength of Schedule: A measurement of the difficulty of a team’s schedule in a particular season, based on the records of the opponents they have faced.
Substitution: The process of replacing a player on the court with another player on the bench.
Substitution Pattern: The plan a coach uses to determine when and how to substitute players during a game.
Swish: A shot that goes through the basket without touching the rim or backboard.
Technical foul: A penalty assessed against a player or coach for unsportsmanlike behavior or rule violations.
Three-point line: The line on the court that marks the distance from the basket at which three-point shots are taken.
Three-Point Play: A play in which a player is fouled while scoring a three-point basket, and is subsequently awarded one free throw.
Three-Second Violation: A rule violation that occurs when an offensive player remains in the key (paint) for more than three seconds.
Tie Game: A game where both teams have the same score at the end of regulation play, which can lead to overtime.
Time-out: A break in the game called by a team’s coach, during which the team can regroup, rest, and receive instructions.
Tip-off: The initial jump ball at the beginning of a game or overtime period.
Toss-Up: A situation where the outcome of a game or play is uncertain and could go either way.
Transition Offense: The offensive strategy employed by a team when they quickly move the ball up the court after a turnover or missed shot, with the intention of scoring before the defense can set up.
Traveling: A rule violation that occurs when a player moves their pivot foot or takes too many steps without dribbling the ball.
Triangle offense: A popular offensive strategy used in basketball, characterized by the movement of players in a triangle shape around the court.
Turnover: When a team loses possession of the ball due to a mistake such as a bad pass, dribbling the ball out of bounds, or a steal by the opposing team.
Turnover Ratio: A statistic that measures the number of turnovers a team has compared to the number of turnovers they force their opponents to commit.
Underhand Free Throw: A free throw that is shot with an underhand or “granny” style technique.
Warm-Up: The period of time before a game or practice when players engage in exercises and drills to prepare their bodies for the physical demands of the game.
Weak-Side Help: Weak-side help refers to a defensive strategy where a defender who is not guarding the player with the ball moves to a position on the court that allows them to be in a better position to help defend against a potential offensive threat. This type of help can be useful in preventing scoring opportunities, disrupting passing lanes, and forcing turnovers. In general, it involves players on the weak side of the court being ready to rotate quickly to help defend against any offensive action that occurs on the strong side.
Zone Defense: A zone defense is a defensive strategy in basketball where defenders are responsible for guarding a specific area of the court rather than a specific player. In a zone defense, players must work together to defend their assigned area and to deny scoring opportunities to the opposing team. This strategy can be particularly effective against teams with strong individual players, as it can make it difficult for them to find open spaces to score. However, it can also be vulnerable to outside shooting and quick ball movement by the opposing team.
Zone Offense: A zone offense is an offensive strategy designed to break down a zone defense. This strategy involves moving the ball quickly around the perimeter of the defense, using ball fakes and player movement to create openings in the defense. Effective zone offenses also involve players being able to attack the gaps in the defense to get into scoring positions. The key to a successful zone offense is patience, ball movement, and the ability to make quick decisions when the defense shifts or rotates.