There’s a lot more that goes into good offensive basketball than dribbling down the court and shooting. No matter how many times you out “Kobe!” you still need to know your fundamentals to thrive in basketball. To help you get to that point, we created some tips to help improve your game.
What are some offensive basketball tips that can help you score more points?
One offensive basketball tip that can improve your game is to practice shots that you’re going to take during games. Other tips to boost your offense and score more points are to become a good passer and to learn the importance of player and ball movement.
When implementing the tips mentioned in this article, remind yourself that you’re not going to be an expert with each of these topics overnight. With everything in life, you’ll start as a beginner but with continued practice, you’ll get closer to becoming an expert.
For that reason, we invite you to read on and to improve the offensive side of your game!
Practice Shooting from Different Angles
If you’re trying to improve your shot, work on shots that you’re going to take during games. While shooting from half-court and behind the backboard may be fun, they don’t make you a better player.
The same can be said for 3-pointers if you don’t shoot threes during games. Keep in mind that the more shots you take during practice the better you’ll become over time.
Try to keep this in mind going forward as the principle applies to every aspect of life.
When shooting in practice, make a mental note to work on your fundamentals. This means following through on your shots, keeping your hand relaxed and keeping your fingers pointed out toward the basket.
To help you practice, consider using a multi-colored ball. This will allow you to see the rotation of the ball and determine if you’re shooting the ball correctly. You also shouldn’t think too much when you’re practicing your shots.
Don’t worry about missing shots, as you’ll miss plenty of shots during practices and games. Develop a mindset where a missed shot doesn’t affect your performance.
To help you score more baskets, try focusing on the target and not thinking about the shot. Shooting is all about muscle memory and each shot you take builds up that muscle memory up.
A couple other things you can do to improve your shooting includes filming yourself shooting and creating a routine. Filming yourself shooting is great because it gives you another way of determining what is working and not working with your shot.
Develop Court Awareness
Court awareness is all about understanding everything that’s going on in a game at any given moment.
Things you should always be aware of include: your positioning in relation to other players, where the coach is and if he’s calling for anything, how the defense is positioning itself and how much time is left in the quarter and on the shot clock.
While this may seem like a lot, the more you keep these things in the back of your mind, the more likely they’ll become second nature. Before you know it, you’ll have no problem processing everything in your head without thinking about it.
If you take mental notes of your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, you’ll also be able to quickly determine your best move(s) going forward.
Being able to decipher what the defense is trying to do and then adjusting your play accordingly is essential.
Stay flexible as you’ll be presented with many scenarios during games. Don’t force the issue and take advantage of what the defense gives you. Keep in mind that the more players are pressured, the more prone they are to making mistakes.
Become a Better Passer in Basketball
Scorers may get most of the glory, but good passers are just as valuable. The best passers are unselfish and willing to give the basketball up for the good of the team. Anyone can become a good passer.
It’s all about adopting a mindset that you don’t need to be the one scoring to make a positive impact for your team. Try and trick yourself into thinking of an assist as the same thing as scoring yourself.
If you’re able to do this, you’ll have no problem with giving up the ball and tallying up the assists.
No one becomes a good passer overnight. One aspect of all good passers is that they all keep their heads up as play goes on. This will allow you to read defenses more easily and you won’t be as preoccupied with handling the ball.
Good passers also have a good concept of timing and flow and can effectively lead targets and fit passed balls into tight windows. These windows of opportunity come and go, capitalize on them as they present themselves.
As you play more and focus on your passing, you’ll develop a sixth sense for when these windows open and close.
This skill is invaluable as every winning team has good passers. You don’t need to top the scoresheet to win basketball games. Unselfish play goes a long way and is necessary for teams looking to win.
To become a good passer, you should work on the basics and add more difficult tasks as you go. You should start with 2-handed passes and go from there. Once you have them down in practice, start implementing them more into your game and start working on 1-handed passes in practice.
The ability to make a 1-handed pass becomes increasingly valuable as you play at higher levels. If you need some inspiration, look at old footage of some of the greatest NBA passers such as: Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash.
These guys are as good as they come and you’re sure to learn a thing or two by watching them.
When it comes to passing, try not to overdo it. There’s no reason to turn a 2-handed chest pass into a 1-handed behind-the-back pass because it looks cool.
Making the flashy and more difficulty pass for sake of it is typically a recipe for disaster.
To go along with passing the ball well, players also need to know how to receive the basketball. Not every passed ball is going to be on the money. Players need to know and account for this.
As long as the ball is in their general vicinity, players need to have the ability to go and get the ball.
Work On Your Spacing
If you have young children, you already know that spacing is non-existent in the youngest age divisions. Whether it’s basketball, soccer or another sport, young kids tend to go directly to the ball.
We want to distance ourselves from this mindset. Good spacing across the floor offers your team different looks. Spacing also spreads out the defense, creating gaps.
Ideally, we’d like our perimeter players to be 10 or so feet away from each other.
Players that are bunched up together are easier to defend than players that are properly spaced apart. You don’t want to be in situations where a single defender can guard multiple players.
Spreading out also creates more passing lanes. This makes it much harder for other defenders to move around the court and double team players.
As a player, it’s always better to do something than nothing. The exception to this rule is taking your defender to the ball without any apparent reason for doing so.
Some acceptable reasons to move toward the ball include: setting a screen, positioning yourself for a pass or making a cut.
You shouldn’t worry about being an expert on spacing right away but you should try and grasp the concept and implement it into your game.
Ultimately, good spacing allows for better looks and gives your team the best opportunity to score.
Focus on Rebounding in Basketball
Coaches love players that follow up their shots and put themselves in a position to grab their own rebounds. Let’s face it, even the best players are going to miss half the shots they take.
For this reason alone, it’s imperative that you’re active and follow up your own shots.
It may seem obvious but every possession gives you a better chance of scoring and winning the game. Each rebound throughout a game is another chance to score.
By exerting a little extra effort, you can increase your team’s rebounding percentage and give your team a better chance of winning.
An offensive rebound is also likely to produce a better scoring chance as the ball will usually be closer to the basket than from where it was originally shot from.
Offensive rebounds also offer the chance to swing balls out wide to perimeter players who are now open due to their defender crashing the net.
Remind yourself that basketball is a numbers game and that the more opportunities you get on the offensive side of the ball, the more likely you’re going to come away with a win.
Playing Off the Ball in Basketball
You don’t have to have the ball in your hands to make an impact on the game. You can make an impact by always keeping your feet moving and never standing still.
This means getting open for passes, stretching the defense out and setting screens.
If you’re always moving, the defense will always be reacting, which will make it harder for them to double-team your players. If you’re good at reading the defense, you can set plenty of screens and make cuts as you see fit.
The best players in the game don’t need the ball to make an impact on the game. Understanding the concept of timing and flow is instrumental. Try and mix-up the speed at which you play.
You don’t always need to go 100 miles per hour to be valuable. Sometimes being slower and more methodical is the right play. If you’re good at changing speeds, you’ll always keep the defense on their toes.
Another way to keep the defense on their toes is to always be open for a potential pass. A player that doesn’t have any chance of getting the ball is a player that doesn’t need to be guarded, which allows the opposition to double-team other players.
Importance of Moving the Ball in Basketball
Good ball movement is critical for any team that wants to win. It opens up all kinds of opportunities for the offense and keeps the defense guessing. Moving the ball around puts the opposition into a reactionary state, where errors are more prone to occur.
Moving the ball around also helps with finding the best available shot for your team. Why take a contested shot when you can pass to an open player? The more you move the ball around the more likely someone will become open.
To get the most out of moving the ball around, you have to trust all of your players. You can’t pass up wide-open shots because your star player isn’t the one with the ball.
For this reason, it’s important players think about what they’re going to do with the ball before they receive it. Receiving a pass and then dribbling indefinitely while contemplating what to do defeats the whole purpose of moving the ball around.
Attack the Weaknesses of the Defense
Don’t be shy about attacking the weaknesses of your opponents. If there’s a size disparity between your center and their center, attack the paint. If the other team can’t defend a 3-pointer, shoot from deep.
Your team should have a basic game plan going into a game but should remain flexible if the defense is weak in certain areas. Rarely will you come across teams that are great at defending everything. Find what they’re weak at defending and look to attack those areas.
If you find that the other team is doing the same thing throughout most of the game, switch up the offense and exploit what the defense is showing. If you know how the defense positions itself, you should have no problem taking advantage of it.
Don’t be afraid to push the pace and make the defense react to your team’s movement. The more pressure you put on a defense, the more likely they’ll slip up and present more ways for your team to score.
Utilize the Triple Threat Position
The triple threat position involves putting yourself in a position where you have the option to dribble, pass or shoot. This position makes the defense work harder on account of not knowing which of the three you’re going to do.
The position consists of the player’s feet spread apart with the pivot foot forward and the ball in both hands, held between the knee and shoulder to protect it. Knees should be bent and the head should remain up.
From this position you have the option to attack the basket, move the ball around or shoot. The position keeps the defense honest as they never know for sure which of the three options you’re going to choose.
If you want to keep the defense guessing, the triple threat position is for you.
Converting on Fast Break Opportunities
Keeping turnovers to a minimum is key as they lead to fast break opportunities, which lead to easy points.
Fastbreak opportunities come in the form of breakaways, 2-on-1s, 3-on-1s, etc. and are reliable sources of points as they usually come off turnovers where the defense doesn’t have time to get ready.
You should practice fast break opportunities with your team so you can successfully perform them during games. Doing so will help you also help build up your endurance.
Stay Confident / Don’t Worry About Slumps
As a player you’ve got to realize that slumps are going to happen throughout your athletic career.
They’re going to happen to everyone in fact, so that’s why it’s important to build your teammates up when they’re going through slumps because you’d want them to do the same for you.
The best thing you can do when you’re going through a slump is to continue shooting and to continue to believe that every shot you take is going to go in.
If you start over-thinking your shooting, your shots are likely not going to find their mark. If your head isn’t on straight, your shots probably won’t be either.
Every day in practice you should take shots that you’re going to take in games. The purpose of doing this is to simulate game situations, so you don’t cave under the pressure when the moment comes during a game.
This means taking contested shots in practice and shooting/playing, in the same manner, you would during a game.
For example, if you’re a center you shouldn’t spend most or all of practice shooting from behind the three-point line. While this can be fun, make sure most of your practice goes to improving your skills that you’ll use during games.
It’s also important to not let your emotions get the best of you. You’re going to go through plenty of slumps throughout your basketball career and you need to know that’s just part of the game.
You’re also going to go through plenty of stretches where you get insanely hot and everything you shoot goes in. It’s important in both situations that you don’t get down on yourself and you don’t get overly cocky, as both can negatively impact your game.
Sure, sometimes we need to reevaluate our games but most of the time we need to keep doing what we’re doing. If you had a bad game or two, that doesn’t mean there’s something fundamentally wrong with your game.
The important thing is to keep doing what you do best because that got you to the position you’re in. Once your slump stretches a couple of weeks or maybe even a month long, then it might be time to re-examine how you’re playing.
In the grand scheme of things, a month-long slump doesn’t necessarily indicate anything is wrong but it’s probably best you self-assess your past performance to see what you can do better.
No matter how long you’ve played basketball or will play basketball, there is always something you can improve on and self-assessment plays a huge role in that.
It’s also important to realize that nerves and butterflies are just part of the game. You’d be crazy to think that LeBron James, Michael Jordan or Stephen Curry never had any nerves in the NBA.
It’s going to happen and there’s nothing wrong about it. The more pressure-filled situations you put yourself into, the easier they’ll become for you to handle.
So while they might be quite stressful in the moment, it’s important you experience them so you can get better in these types of situations. You should try and keep in mind that you’re playing a kid’s game and that most people would love to be in the position you’re in.
I have found this to be a good way to put things in perspective.
The best players in the world go through slumps. Michael Jordan, the best player in the world, went through is fair share of slumps as did any other NBA legend.
The difference with Jordan and the other legends is that they knew that slumps were part of basketball and that if they kept playing their games they’d be fine.
When you’re slumping, you need to remind yourself what has worked for you in the past and helped you get where you are today.
The next time you go through a rough stretch of games, try visualizing what you could do better. Some people might think visualizing success is a silly thing but it does work.
Visualizing what you’ll do in certain situations will help you perform to your potential in games.
This includes knowing what you would do when someone passes you the ball in the post or if somebody swings the ball to you out wide.
The point of visualizing success whether it be in practice or before games is to know what you’d do in a game when the ball comes your way.
Master the Free-Throw Line
One of the best ways you can improve your scoring is to become a better free-throw shooter. In many ways, free throws are free points for the taking.
The best players in the world make around nine out of every 10 free throws and there’s no reason you can’t do the same with enough practice. If you’re sitting there thinking “why do I need to be good at shooting free throws?”, it’s because points from free throws add up quickly.
Free throws might only be worth one point each, but they’re invaluable as it’s not uncommon for college and NBA teams to score 10-20 points from the free-throw line.
So what’s the best way to get better at free throws? The best way is to take hundreds and hundreds of shots every day to build up muscle memory. The more you do something the better you’ll become at it and free throws are no exception.