If you’re in a relationship with a basketball nut, sooner or later you’re going to have to learn at least some basics of the game.

Too many people get into relationships and look at their partner’s sports love as something that gets in the way. However, it’s better to join them rather than draw a wedge.

When you want to earn a few points with them, why not learn a bit about the game they really love?

Follow these points to learn everything you need to know about basketball basics.

1. First Things First: Learn How Scoring Happens

If you’re going to learn the basics, you first need to know how scoring happens.

When a player scores a basket, they’re awarded 2 points. The only other time someone gets more than 2 points is if they shoot a shot behind the three-point arc, a line that spans about 24 feet from the basket in the NBA. The extra point is because the shot is the most difficult to score.

Players also get to shoot free throws, unobstructed shots, when they’re fouled. These free throws are worth 1 point each.

2. Understand Fouls and Violations

A foul occurs when a player makes contact with another in a way that is against the rules. This typically happens when obstructing another player’s shot, or otherwise making contact.

When a player gets fouled while trying to shoot the ball, they get two shots. If they happen to make the shot in the act of getting fouled, they only get one free throw.

If a player is fouled while shooting beyond the three-point arc, they are rewarded three free throws.

Aside from fouls, you’ll also need to know the basics of some violations. For instance, if a player moves a few steps without dribbling, a traveling violation happens and the other team gets the ball.

A double dribble is another common violation, which happens when a player stops dribbling to hold onto the ball and then starts dribbling again.

There are several violations you should be aware of, but these basics offer a great start.

3. Get to Know the Positions

It’s also crucial that you get to know the positional breakdown.

Guards are the smallest positions on the floor and are the players that are best at handling the ball and passing.

The point guard is typically the leader on the floor that distributes the ball to all the other players and has great awareness and vision. A shooting guard is usually one of the best scorers on the team and is able to get points.

Forwards are bigger players that play a big role in protecting their basket and attacking the other team’s baskets. A small forward is typically the smaller of this larger play position and consists of more offensive oriented forwards in most cases. Power forwards are bigger, usually less mobile, but better defenders.

The center is the biggest player on the floor, and the last line of defense to protect the basket and the biggest high-percentage scoring threat.

4. Learn Which Fundamentals Matter

You need to get a feel for some of the game’s basic moves.

It’s important that high-level players be able to dribble with both hands and at the very least make layups. Free throws are incredibly important, and being able to get to the basket and either score or get fouled, can make or break a player’s competence.

Playing basketball for yourself is actually one of the best ways to learn about it. You can shop for the best basketball hoop you can afford and practice your game right in your own backyard.

5. Brush Up on Offensive and Defensive Strategies

It’s also vital that you get a feel for how teams try to beat each other.

Phil Jackson revolutionized the Triangle Offense, an option-based offense that helped him win 11 rings between his years with the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls of the ’90s and the Shaq or Kobe led Lakers teams of the 2000s.

You should get to know the differences between zone and man-to-man defense, pick-and-roll offense, and more. Understanding these basics will help you get a feel for what you are watching.

6. Know the Basics of NBA Basketball and How it Plays Out

You must also get a feel for how the NBA season plays out.

The league is split into two conferences–the East and the West. They play 82 games in a season, with the best eight in each conference getting to compete in the playoffs. Playoff series are the best of seven games.

The winner from each conference faces the other in the championship series to decide who wins it all.

7. Find Out the Stars and Some Key Basketball History

Finally, be sure that you do at least a little bit of research into who the best players of all time are. This means getting to know the greats like Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.

You should also learn about historical moments and teams, such as the Jordan Bulls and the Showtime Lakers.

Learn the Basketball Basics

These tips are great when you’d like to learn some basketball basics.

When you have a feel for the game and actually know what you’re watching, you’ll be able to join in on the conversation, and you might find that it makes your relationship better!

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