What basketball skills takes a player to the next level?

There are two basketball skills more important than all the others when a player is trying to reach the next level.

1) The shot

2) The defense

Part 1 The shot

The first article is about a players shot. I believe that this skill is the most important one of the offensive skills a player can master. Maybe the shot is not the most important when you are on a certain level but when trying to reach the next level when physique and speed becomes more significant a player without the skill of shooting is way more easy to break down.

When a player has a dangerous shot the defense must play closer which gives the possibility to attack with dribble and it also creates space for his team-mates.  On a lower level a player can survive with attacking the basket due to maybe a physique higher level than his team-mates, but when playing against a player who can back off and control the penetration the shot is the key to attract the defense and get him closer. A great shot will help the player to attack the basket more. And a player who is great attacking the basket but a poor shooter will be fouled a lot but will not be able to punish the defense by making high enough percentage from the FT-line.

When the defensive players needs to get up closer it creates space for the offensive players. One important thing I have written earlier about is to use inside as an important piece of the puzzle. If the defense can back off the offensive players it will be more difficult to reach the inside position with passes.

With a good shot a player handling the ball and using ball screens is a threat behind the screen. This will force the defense to play 100% and not take short cuts, going under the screen by example. Actually this is the case in almost all screen situations. If the player can’t shoot the defense will take short cuts to make sure they stop the attack or cut to the basket.


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