What are the skills of your favorite basketball players?

1,682 Views Updated: 17 Mar 2018
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What are the skills of your favorite basketball players?

Basketball is a game in which divergent talents and skills collide. It’s a game of finesse versus strength, a game in which athleticism, quickness, and strength can disrupt the flow and rhythm of a silky smooth finesse team blessed with pure shooters.  Putting points on the board and defending are equally important to the outcome of games, but those tasks demand different skills. People often say that offensive players are born, not made. The same is not true of defenders. Most players naturally  gravitate to scoring and shooting, whereas they must be taught team and individual defensive fundamentals.

Good defenders have several identifiable qualities. They are athletic and quick. They enjoy physical contact, anticipate well, play with reckless abandon, love to take on a challenge, and are usually good team players. They will sacrifice their bodies by taking the charge, boxing out, and defending bigger, stronger opponents. They have a focused mind-set. Defensive-minded players respond well to predetermined goals, for both the team and the individual, and they love to hold teams under their per-game field-goal percentages and keep the opponents’ star players under their scoring averages.  Skilled defenders are usually well built and are seldom heavy or overweight. They are well proportioned and strong. 

Good defenders anticipate well, are quick to get to the ball, and are always thinking one pass ahead. By combining quickness and anticipation, skilled defenders have the ability to show an open area and then close it off before the dribbler can get to it. Another important  characteristic of a good defender is aggressiveness. A good defender attacks the offensive player to make him change direction, and the best defenders are able to stay in front of their opponents and deny dribble penetration. Defensive-minded players play hard and get through screens, front opponents, and deny passes one player away. Some of the essential skills which are indispensable to win a game are:


The ability to communicate, regardless of whether it relates to politics, marriage, coaching, or playing, is vital to a successful team effort. Communication is critical because players must understand how they fit into the coach’s plan, how they must go about preparing, what’s expected of them in practice, and how they will be evaluated. 


Coaches are responsible for teaching defensive techniques, but players are expected to provide the necessary hustle and effort. This quote is often used to describe the player commitment. The disappointment in losing is equal to the amount of energy expended in trying to win. Players should begin every practice session with this thought: No one is going to out hustle me. Hustle plays have a way of inspiring players and exciting fans. Coaches need to encourage plays such as taking charges, going to the floor for the ball, and hitting the boards. Each of these reflects alertness, desire, and all-out hustle, and hustle is contagious. 

On ball defense

On ball defense is the defender guarding the player with the ball. When coaches make their man-to-man defensive assignments, they must avoid matching up a slow-footed defender on a quick, penetrating offensive opponent. With more teams running motion, passing game, dribble-drive, and pick-and-roll offenses, on-the-ball defenses becomes vulnerable and are more easily exposed. Basketball players over the years have improved ball handling and dribbling proficiency, so defenders need constant support. Therefore, to be effective, on-the-ball defense requires quick feet, lateral dexterity, and an excellent supporting team.

Contain the dribbler  

The object is to stay in front of the ball to keep the offensive player from penetrating. The proper stance, bent knees, being balanced, and being prepared to slide or run is critical. Players must learn to assess their own speed and quickness as compared with that of their opponent. If the defender judges the opponent to be quicker, then he has to back up a step because the goal is to avoid being beaten off the dribble. Fundamentally sound defenders do not gamble and reach, thereby putting their teammates at a disadvantage.  

Fake at the dribbler

This maneuver occurs in full-court and half-court situations when two offensive players with the ball attack one defender at the basket. A defender caught in a two-on-one situation must lower his body, fake a jab step at the ball handler, and slide toward the opponent without the ball, looking to deflect or steal the pass. If no pass is made, the defender then challenges the attacking offensive player.

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