The well-known secret to winning any basketball game is to get more buckets than the other team, that much is simple. Obviously, however, you can't just shoot three-pointers or dunk every time down the court. In order to become a well-rounded offensive player, you must be able to hurt the opposition in many ways. Part of this equation comes when you attack the basket, both aggressively and intelligently.
Ultimately, all successful players get themselves to the rim for easy layups or free throws. From being a convincing player in the triple threat to operating one step ahead, here are our best tips for attacking the basket and improving your overall offensive game.
No matter if you're catching the ball off a pass or bringing it up court, your main focus should alway be to make yourself a threat. If you're a constant threat to shoot, drive, or set up a teammate, the opposite defender will have less ways to guard you. Becoming predictable on offense is one of the worst things that can happen to even the best shooters and ball-handlers -- so mix it up!
Become A Better Shooter
One of the best ways to improve your ability to attack the basket is to become a better shooter, believe it or not. If a defender must respect your long-range shooting skills, they'll need to front you tighter, which leaves more potential to step through him and head towards the hoop. Think about selling the shot and utilize the pump fake to leave your defender concerned about you scoring.
This, of course, will open your options to attack the basket.
Make The First Move Your Best Move
As a coach in this new era of basketball, I see a ton of athletes attacking the basket by going around the defender. By doing so, athletes are making it easier for the defense to slide and cut off the attack. When great defense is played, the attacker must incorporate the following techniques to have a chance at getting closer to the basket:
Long Step Towards Basket
The long step must be directed towards the defender's top foot. If your opponent is playing straight -up defense, provide shot fakes and jab steps to gain position on the attack you desire. The less time your defender can react, the better -- so make your steps count!
Quick + Hard Smash-Dribbles
When you shorten the distance of your dribbles and increase the amount of force applied, the ball will gain more speed -- thus allowing the attacker to move quicker with the ball. This is possible by keeping your center of gravity -- your core -- and dribbles waist or knee-high as you'll have more control.
In addition, keeping a low center of gravity will give you the advantage to react quickly with counter moves of your own.
Attack the Defenders Hip with Shoulder
Attacking the defender's hip gives you a better angle towards the basket, forces the defender to drop step, and ensures your center of gravity is low all at once. If you're tight, stiff, and standing straight up, you're 100% easier to guard.
Remember, the more creative you are, the harder your opposition will have to work just to stay in front of you.
When you watch any high-level basketball game, the importance of getting into the lane, under the hoop, and to the free throw line is clear. However, it's not as easy as gliding to the hoop and you must expand your game entirely. The better you are at shooting, the more floor space you'll find in front of you; the better you are at dribbling, the more likely you are to beat your defender.
If you harness these skills, you'll find success every time you touch the ball!