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A Basketball Tutorial and More!

March 26, 2020

Welcome back to the Writer for some more… Basketball!

The Writer loves sports because they bring us all together. But if you want to skip ahead then use the menu below!

Welcome Back!

It’s been a minute and the world is going a little crazy in America ahead of a huge election. And a lot of folks go silent when it comes to making political statements in athletics. But it is because sports bring us together that it is important to make these statements. That and because these are highly visible moments. One Lakers game featuring the league-leading LeBron James can bring in over 2.9 million viewers on one platform, at one time.

Just for context, the Republican National Convention was played on 13 channels and garnered 23.8 views. On average, each platform had around 1.8 million viewers.

That means that over 1 million more viewers, on average, choose to tune in and watch LeBron on a low-rated night on ESPN, a channel notoriously difficult to access. Could you imagine how many people would watch if the Lakers were played on 13 channels? Lol. I am not quite sure the math works like that. But, drawing 2.9 million viewers on a slow night is impressive. The NBA playoffs are a big stage and people like sports.

It is actually the perfect platform for a peaceful statement. The Miami Heat has an excellent website up where you can get more information on the players and their community support ideas.

[Image of Miami Heat Basketball Team Website. A black rectangular box features Black Lives Matter prominently with the Heat logo white. Just above the rectangle is writing: "The conversation must, and will, continue. Advocate, educate, participate." Just below the rectangle is a quote from a Heat player named Andre Iguodala.]
[Image of Miami Heat Website. A black rectangular box features Black Lives Matter prominently with the Heat logo in white. Just above the rectangle is writing: “The conversation must, and will, continue. Advocate, Educate, Participate.” Just below the rectangle is a quote from a Heat player named Andre Iguodala.]

COVID Killed Sports

Even with all that’s going on, we are super happy to be back playing major league sports. Because, for a long time, we had no amazing gladiatorial competition or feats of athletic prowess on any stage because of COVID-19. The virus canceled every major sporting event in the world. Even the courts in parks usually packed with ballers were eerily quiet.

Us diehard fans were not exactly appreciative.

Sports gives us a chance to scream, yell, laugh, and sometimes cry. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose. It’s an incredible forum to express and exercise humanity. And I think once you start watching a little… You always want to play again, watch again, or listen to other people get excited about it. Because sometimes fun gets to be simple.

That’s the beauty of the game itself.

And this isn’t just basketball. This is playoff basketball baby.

And, it gives us all the chance to learn more about the sport I love. Basketball. There are so many people missing out simply because they don’t understand the game.

So. Let’s break it down.

History

James Naismith is a Canadian-American educator that invented the game of basketball in 1891. He penned the first basketball rulebook, and established the basketball program at the University of Kansas, according to Biography.com.

[Old photo of James Naismith standing with a volleyball and a basketball, the barebones of the sport we play today.]

The purpose of inventing the game was to keep athletes active during the wintertime. It became an inexpensive and popular winter sport, providing an outlet for youth and adults spanning generations.

Basketball can be played in different configurations and with varying participants.

You can play the game from either 1 v 1 all the way up to 5 v 5. (And Naismith’s orginal rule book features rules for 9 v 9 basketball.)

[An image describing what the lines on a basketball court mean courtesy of the Sega Notebook.]
[An image describing what the lines on a basketball court mean courtesy of the Sega Notebook.]

The Objective is More Baskets

The purpose is simple. Put the ball in the basket as many times as possible to increase your team’s point total. To give yourself the best chance at winning, you have to make it a mission to stop your opponent from putting it in the basket too. Your team making sure the other team doesn’t make a basket creates more opportunities for your team to score and win the game.

Scoring the Basketball

Baskets can be worth 1, 2, or 3 points. Anywhere from 22 feet from the basket is 2 points made. And 23 feet and further counts as three. There is usually a line demarcating the 3 point zone from the 2 point zone.

[An image of a full basketball court with the 3-point area colored blue and the 2-point area colored white.]
[An image of a full basketball court with the 3-point area colored blue and the 2-point area colored white.]

There is another set of lines that make a rectangular box directly under the basket. This area is affectionately referred to as the lane or the paint. It is where bigger players usually bang it out or where power plays to the goal take place. In professional leagues, you can not stand in that box for too long. The purpose is to keep players moving fluidly around the court and not just backed up in the lane attempting to pummel each other.

In most standard basketball games, scoring one point is the result of a penalty. (One time there was this one player in the NBA that was so bad at penalty shots, teams developed a strategy to foul him on purpose because you could guarantee he was only going to make one penalty shot for one point instead of two, or he wouldn’t make any at all. They called the strategy hack-a-Shaq.)

When playing an organized team game, there’s usually a timed clock that takes place for either four quarters or two halves. There are a lot of additional clocks that players worry about in the professional leagues but we won’t cover them here today. You can learn more about them in the NBA’s Regulations.

Defending Against Scoring

Defenses can take many different forms. In most 5 v 5 games, there can be zone defenses, where players cover certain areas of the floor they are assigned to. Zone defenses can be configured in various ways but the goal is usually to defend the lane.

[Image of various zone defenses in basketball: 2-3, 3-2, 1-3-1, 2-1-2, 1-2-2.]
[Image of various zone defenses: 2-3, 3-2, 1-3-1, 2-1-2, 1-2-2.]

And then there are man-to-man defenses. Usually, players in professional leagues, like the NBA, play a lot of man-to-man. The player is assigned to one opponent on the other team and tries to keep them from scoring easily.

[Image of man-to-man scheme featuring green circles for offense and red x’s for defense. Courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods.]

Teams can defend the full length of the court or choose to only defend half of the court or even pack down inside the three-point line and wait for the team with the ball to come to them.

Team Chemistry in Basketball

Team chemistry is all about having great communication. The best teams are always on the same page when they are on the floor. Whether they use hand signals, mouth words, or just know where each other will be, team chemistry is the key to championship play in basketball. It is a team sport.

Coming out with the win is always the best result, as with most sporting events.

The ultimate team is looking to compete at the highest level and remain disciplined enough to display poise through it all. Basketball is a back and forth sport and there are a lot of chances for mistakes. There will be breaking points, but the team that comes out on top is usually able to withstand them. Momentum is another concept that is vital to most forms of intense competition. Basketball is no different. Teams with good chemistry look to gain momentum by playing off their chemistry.

Let’s Play More Basketball!

Basketball is a difficult sport to play. The professionals usually start playing early in their youth and continue to get better well into their professional careers as their basketball IQs increase. Lebron James has had a basketball in his hands almost every day since he was 10 years old. He celebrated his 36th birthday this year.

[Image of 14-year-old Lebron James in a basketball uniform staring up against the background of a blurred crowd. Courtesy of Ranker.]

And so many kids start out playing the game and transition to passionate fans.

As a spectator sport, basketball is fun, fast, and competitive. Especially playoff basketball because the players really turn the level of play up a notch. But, it’s also fun to just play with friends and family on holidays. Pick up a basketball on your next date and see which one of you can get it through the hoop the most! Winner gets a kiss.

If you haven’t played basketball as of yet, I’d love for you to try it.

It may take a little while to get used to but I believe after a couple of tries you’ll get the hang of it. I hope this small tutorial can help you out on how to play the game but even more so on how to watch it!!

And if you try it, I promise you you won’t forget it (even if it’s not for you, it can make for some pretty funny goof reels!)

When to Watch

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in a series-deciding 5th game Saturday at 9 pm EST on TNT. Here is a quick recap of game 4. If this is too much to digest before then no worries because we have the 2020 NBA Championship, East vs. West, right around the corner.

#LetsGrow #LoveAlways

For more basketball and sports lingo check out the Writer’s last post:

Shoot the Ball, No Matter What.

If you wish to support the movement financially and help us bring you more content, more regularly you can purchase t-shirts or hit the cash app $herstunwild

Credits

Written & Edited By: W.D. Herstun & Nick Andre

Please follow Nick Andre and his team of writers on Twitter. He will be bringing us predictions for the playoffs and highlights for the Finals. Also, check out his basketball blog, Above the Rim, that reports on ALL basketball ALL the time!

Above the Rim Logo, a basketball with worldlines on it in a hoop.

Let’s watch some playoff basketball with Nick!

WildeNotes

Publishing this article took some time because the world is on fire. Literally and figuratively. And honestly, with everything going on in America, it’s been a little tough to figure out HOW to publish it. I hope that the introduction broke down some of the important things that are affecting the humans behind the performance and their families. There are real problems in our country. It’s going to take a lot more than basketball alone to solve them. I hope that athletes and other performers work on collective organizing and walkouts across entertainment industries. But in a country where so many people are programmed to understand, expect, and fear scarcity, it’s tough to conceptualize it. Furthermore, it would take even more than that to institute the structural changes that could make the world better for our kids. What do you think? Feel free to leave thoughts in the comments.

Sources

https://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2020/08/nba-playoff-ratings-primetime-daytime-espn-tnt/

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/28/907289022/democrats-beat-republicans-in-convention-television-ratings

https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2020/08/26/floridas-lt-governor-once-anti-trump-warns-of-socialism/

https://www.nba.com/heat/community/black-lives-matter

https://www.instagram.com/andre/

https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/28871525/coronavirus-cancellations-reactions-sports

https://www.biography.com/scholar/james-a-naismith

https://protips.dickssportinggoods.com/sports-and-activities/basketball/basketball-101-common-defensive-strategies

https://www.ranker.com/list/young-lebron-james/cari-fortier?var=7&utm_expid=16418821-388.pwrOe5-lSJetLqzNW0S00A.2&utm_referrer=https://www.google.com.co/

https://www.espn.com/nba/recap?gameId=401246237

giphy.com on the GIF beat

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