Maybe you’d like to finally best your friends in your weekly basketball game. Maybe you want to start on a path to becoming one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Whatever the reason, learning about basketball strategies is a good idea. After all, very few sports are won with just desire and stamina.
So here are 3 common basketball strategies to start with.
Pick and Roll
The pick and roll, also known as the screen and roll, is an offensive strategy used to create space and scoring opportunities for the player who has the ball and their teammate. This play is effective because it forces the defense to make difficult play decisions that may cost them the game.
To execute it:
- Dribble towards a teammate who is positioned near the player defending you
- Your teammate should stand still and hold out their body as a way to set a “pick” or “screen” to make it difficult for the defender to follow your movements
- Use the pick to move past the defender and toward the basket as your teammate rolls toward the basket in anticipation of receiving a pass
- You can either pass to your rolling teammate for an easy shot or take the shot yourself if you have an open lane to the basket
The fast break is an offensive strategy that is effective for catching the defense off guard to score easy points.
To execute it:
- Get the ball and pass it to a teammate who is already moving toward the opponent’s basket
- Your teammate should then dribble the ball up the court, with other teammates sprinting ahead to create passing options
- If the defense catches up, an option is to slow down and set up a half-court offense
Keep in mind that this play is called the fast break for a reason. It requires speed, a lot of practice, and coordination to execute effectively because timing and positioning are key.
Zone defense is a defensive strategy used to neutralize the other team’s best scorer or disrupt their offensive rhythm. Each player guards a specific area, or “zone,” on the court rather than a specific player.
The most common zone defense is the 2-3 zone. Get two teammates to guard the top of the key and three to cover the area near the basket. This way, you can prevent the opposite team from driving to the basket while also defending against outside shots.
Or, another common zone defense is the 1-3-1 zone. Get one teammate to guard the top of the key, three to defend the free-throw line area, and one to cover the baseline. This way, you can put pressure on the other team’s ball handlers and force turnovers.
Keep in mind that for zone defense to work it requires good communication and coordination among teammates.
Basketball strategies are an important aspect of the game as it’s one of the main ways you can gain an advantage over your opponents. By understanding and utilizing these strategies effectively, you and your teams can improve your chances of success on the court.