How it all Works
Moving the ball
There are two ways to get the basketball from one place to another.

The easiest way is to pass the ball to another teammate.  There are no restrictions on how to pass.  Use one hand or both, to any teammate.  Just remember that once you advance the ball past the Center court line, you cannot take the ball back over it, or you commit a turnover, giving the ball to the other team.  The exception to this would be if, for example, an opposing player tries to steal the ball, and it goes back over the line.  Since an opposing player was last in contact with the ball, you can go back and get it--asuming you can reach it first!  Passing the ball can lead to quick and easy baskets, if you work on it with your teammates.

The other way is to dribble (bounce) the ball.  This is literally a matter of making sure the ball keeps bouncing as you continue to move.  If you stop bouncing it, or touch it with both hands, you have "stopped you dribble", meaning you have to stop your movement, and either pass the ball to a teammate, or try to make a shot at the basket.  You can only move one foot, while the other must stay in direct contact with the floor--that's called the pivot foot.  So, you acn spin around, and look for a teammate--as long as that pivot foot doesn't come up off the floor--if it does, you are called for "traveling", and the ball goes to the other team.

Which foot is the pivot foot?  Normally it's whichever foot is behind the other foot when you stop.  Most players learn to time their movements so they have the same foot as the pivot every time, but sometimes, the defense of the other time prevents that.

This is Larry Bird dribbling the ball.  Had he stopped here, his right foot would become his pivot foot.  If he took another step, THEN stopped, his left foot would now be the pivot foot.

Taking the Shot
Eventually, the idea is to score points--two per basket made, unless you're out beyond the three point line.

There are a number of ways to shoot the ball at the basket.  The oldest way used to be called the set shot.  What would happen is a player would literally stop and "set" himself facing the basket and shoot the ball with two hands.  It's similiar to the form used by jum shooters today, with the obvious addition that the player "jumps" off the court to give added list to his shot--which comes in hander if he's faced with a defender bigger than he is.

Above is an example of Bruno Sundov taking such a shot.  Notice that he is concentrating on the basket, ignoring the hand of the defender trying to disrupt his shot.  He's holding the ball properly, so that when he releases it, it will have more spin and arc as it goes toward the basket.

The Hook Shot
This shot was perfected by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who did NOT play for Boston, but the Celtics DID have someone who could make that shot work, Kevin McHale.  The idea behind the shot is to block the defense.  Basically you are close to the basket, facing it, and the defender is between you and the hoop.  If you try a jump shot, he will block it.  So you turn slightly, using one arm to keep the defender at bay, and reach back with the other arm, ball in your hand, and swing your arm upward, releasing the ball when your arm is at it's highest point.  Momentum and direction carry the ball over the upraised arms of the defending player, and if your aim is good, you scored a basket.

The picture above demonstrates what I'm talking about, with the aforementioned # 32, Kevin McHale, about to render the defender unable to reach the ball.

The Running Jumper
This was a way to beat the defender.  Instead of stopping and "setting" for a shot, players learned to fire it up as they were still moving.  This shot can be made with two hands, but is generally a one-handed shot.

Here's Shammond Williams in the process of taking a running jump shot.  Since he was still moving, the defenders weren't able to get in front of him to stop the shot attempt.

The Dunk
Yes, this is the shot most often imitated--even though the hook shot is better against a tough defense.  It's a showy move, and a lot more players try it than are good at it.  But if you master it--and use it at the right time--it can be a powerful offensive move that will demoralize the other team's offense.

Some people will dunk one-handed, as you see from the first picture of Walter (I Love Waltah!) McCarty; but it's normally better to use both hands, as you see in the second picture of Tony Battie.
In the second picture, Tony has just received an "alley-oop" pass--the pass was aimed at the backboard, where Tony could jump up behind the defender, who hasn't even noticed Battie, and slam the ball in for an easy two.  That's how good passing can lead to easy baskets.

Blocking Shots and Rebounding
Blocking a shot means what it says, but it's not as simple as it sounds.  You, as the defender, have to anticipate exactly when and how the man with the ball will shot and prevent a basket without either committing a foul--illegal physical contact (we'll get into that shortly)--or goaltending--interfering with the ball on it's way down to the basket (we'll get to that, too).

Rebounding is when you try to get possession of the ball after a missed shot--be it a teammate's shot, or an opposing player's miss.

Some people just think rebounding is slapping the ball anywhere away from the basket.  But a really good rebounder/shot blocker will direct the ball to a specific place, enabling a teammate to do something with the ball.  A first-rate rebounder can actually turn the rebound or block into a pass leading to a fast break (that's where the team with the ball gets the ball upcourt really fast to score a basket before the other team can stop them).

Bill Russell was an incredible rebounder, and is the model that  smart player will learn from.
Here, you see Bill Russell stopping a "finger roll" (where you literally let the ball roll off your fingertips toward the basket) by his archnemesis Wilt Chamberlain.  The two players were each among the finest in the game.  Wilt held all the scoring titles, but when it came to the Celtics, the defense often resulted in a Celtics win, despite Wilt's acknolwedged offensive explosiveness.

Notice that Russell has leaped off the ground, and stretched his arm straight up.  Now, take a look at the feet of Wilt Chamberlain.  They're almost as high up as Russell's!! Think of the size advantage that Chamberlain had over Russell, and consider that Russell was the only man in the entire NBA who stood a chance to stop Wilt on his way to the hoop.

Now it's time to move on to other things, as you now get to put the players in action.

Or, if you like, you can go back to the main page for more fun on the CBW!