How To Buy The Best Basketball Shoe [The Ultimate Guide]



When it comes to choosing the best pair of basketball shoes, you are faced with a lot of difficulties, however, it is all worth it. Consider the speed of your dribbling, passing the ball or shooting it.  The shoes you wear determine a lot on the flexibility in your moves. Good shoes will hold you firm and prevent injuries caused by sliding. But, it is always very difficult to decide the right shoe for your basketball game. Here are the factors to consider before purchasing your basketball shoes.

The durability of the shoe

The duration shoe will serve you before being torn out is the best factor to consider. Strong shoes give you confidence that they will not let you down when playing the game. It will transform this into your moves. Weak shoes will instill fear of embarrassment which will reduce your performance. In fact, you will play to avoid an instance where they will fall apart during game time.

Cost of the shoes

You should buy a pair which fits your budget. Better and most effective shoes cost more. However, straining to buy expensive shoes is not a good idea since the cheaper brands can give you similar or even better service. The newest brands are always more expensive than ready existing ones.  Season affects the prices of those shoes. Best time to buy a pair of shoe is January when old stocks are being cleared at a cheaper price.

Position of your play/your role in the game

In basketball play, we have forwards, centers, guards, and all-around players.  Different roles have different shoes which fit them.

Centers and forwards- A very aggressive and swift players are suitable for this role as they move forward. They need flexible and strong shoes which suits their moves. High top-basketball shoes are the best match for them. Those shoes are light and stable to help you jump as high as possible.

All round players- Those are players who do different roles. They need to move all the field. Mid-top basketball shoes are best suited for them. With the upper wrapping just below the ankle, they offer great stability.

Guards- Those players need to be faster enough to bring the ball down and start offensive plays. They need a stable and a light shoe for stability. Back-low-top basketball shoes fit them.

Shoe Cushioning

Manufactures put the cushion inside midsole. Its main aim is to absorb shock in case of the heavy landing. A shoe with a cushion is most preferred for strong and heavy players. Air-based and form cushioning are the most effective for basketball shoes. However, in case you want a durable solution, shoes with air-based cushions will serve you better.  Adidas D Rose, Nike Kobe X1, Nike Zoom Hyper Rev and Under Amour Curry two are some of the best shoes when with best cushioning.

Place of play

Where you play your game influences a lot on the type of shoe to buy. Bearing in mind most shoes are designed for indoor basketball, it is always hectic when choosing a shoe which can fit outdoor activities. Outdoor play is always associated with rough surfaces, hot climate. Indoor basketball is associated with smooth and organized pitches. The rubber designing basketball shoes for indoor is always softer than that of the outdoors. Another factor to consider here is the traction in those shoes.  Shoes designed for indoor games have smooth tracks while those for outdoor have bigger and stronger track to improve stability in the streets. There are also combo shoes which are universal for both indoor and outdoor games. They are suitable for new players who have not made a decision on the specific place of play.

How the shoe fits you

Finding the show which fits you perfect can be a challenge but it is worth. You should fit the shoe first before making a final decision.  Always choose the shoe which you feel comfortable with. It should not be too tight or too loose. A shoe which perfectly fits you will give you enough stability and confidence when playing the game.

Brand

In the market, there are a lot of brands of basketball shoes. Most people tend to go for the newest brands on the market since it improves their egos and reputation in the game. However, the newest brands are not always the best. Before you make a final decision on the brand to buy, do a thorough research. You can ask your friends about their experience with a certain brand. Best brands are always rated highly by their customers.

Last Words

In conclusion, your footwear will influence your game a lot. Wearing best shoe will improve your ego and confidence while you are playing. However, the shoes will not make you a better player. Intense training and sacrifice is the key. Make a right decision and you will not regret.

How To Buy The Best Basketball [The Ultimate Guide]




Do you know playing basketball keeps you active and is the best game for the winter season? If you answered no, it’s high time you try the game. While many play basketball for fun, others do it for a living. Whichever the player you are, it is always a dilemma when choosing a basketball which suits you. You don’t have to worry since we will discuss the details of the things you need to consider when buying the best basketball.

Target Players


The basketball is a game played by different ages. There are different sizes of the ball depending on the age of the players. It suits young kids below ten years to play from size 1 to size 5 basketballs. These balls have a weight which does not exceed 18 Oz. With a circumference of bellow 25 cm, the ball is suitable for the smaller hand. It suits the teenagers above ten years to play with size 6 ball. This is about 20oz in weight and its diameter is 28.5 cm. Professional basketball players, high school, and college students use size 7 which weighs 22 Oz. This is the standard NBA basketball.  You should be careful with your selection since the wrong ball will lead to poor shooting techniques.

In case you are a beginner, you need a training basketball. They design these balls using a rubber. It is heavier than professional balls to enable the trainer to develop strong skills to dribble, shoot and control the ball.

If you are aiming to develop or enhance your shooting skills, shooters basketball is better for you. They design it with a good grip to enable you to aim and shoot while training.

With advancement in technology, there is a connected ball designed to enable the trainer to keep track of the performance. A player connects it to a smartphone via a Bluetooth. It will analyze the strength and weaknesses of the player.

The Place of Play


Basketball playing involves both indoor and outdoor play. In an indoor play, there is a well-cemented court where you play the game. In the outdoor play, someone can play the game in the streets or the field. You should be careful when choosing the ball depending on where you play. If you play indoor, there is no dirt or rocks to harm your ball so it is not a must have a stronger ball. However, the outdoor game needs a very strong ball which can withstand different environments. I would advise you to buy a ball suitable for someone to prepare both indoor and outdoor play for any circumstance.

The Ball's Material


The material will determine how long the ball will serve you and suitable place of play.

Rubber Basketball
Spalding Varsity Rubber Outdoor Basketball


Rubber basketballs are the cheapest balls. They are best for teens below ten years due to their lightness. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor play. Due to the durability of the material making them, you can comfortably play in concrete walls. However, this ball is likely to lose shape with time thus hindering better shooting. On wet hands, they slide and their grip becomes poor.


Leather Basketball

Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball

This is the most expensive among the three balls. It is the standard ball to use in NBA, WNBA, colleges and high school games due to its quality and good feel in the hand. It is suitable mostly in indoor courts. Sweaty hands are not a problem with this ball since the grip is guaranteed. This ball is however not suitable for wet grounds since it can absorb water. It also requires a break-in period for optimum bounce and grip.


Composite basketball


Wilson NCAA Street Shot Basketball

This is a cheaper type compared to leather basketball. Its outer covering is made up of a synthetic leather produced from a very strong and durable material called polyurethane. This material gives it a touch similar to that of leather. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor activities since it can be ruined easily.

Price of the balls


Basketball prices vary depending on the quality and where to use the ball. It is your pocket which will determine the type of the basketball you will purchase. High quality is always a bit expensive. If you are playing the game just for fun, Molten BGR is suitable for you. You can get one with a price not exceeding £15. This ball is suitable for both indoor and outdoor activities and comes in different colors and sizes.

Molten BGE is another durable Basketball which is available with about £20. It is suitable for youth in high schools and colleges. It has a composite cover which makes it more strong and durable. It is also suitable for both indoor and outdoor activities.

Baden Elite Match Ball is one of the cheapest balls for professional basketball. This ball is highly recommended by Scotland, English football, FIBA. This ball is designed in a way that it can bounce and fly perfectly. With a price not exceeding £50, you can get it which comes in different sizes and colors.

Basketball Brand 

Here are the best and most trusted brands of basketballs.

Spalding


They are most popular basketballs in the market today. They can be used both indoor and outdoor. They are mainly used for professional purposes. We are going to discuss some of the best Spalding balls.

Spalding for Indoor Use


  • Official NBA Game Ball: It is mostly used by biggest leagues in the word such as NBA. It meets NBA size and weight standards. With a Twitter handle on it, it shows how much it is accepted and also gives players confidence that they are playing the same ball with their idol international players. It is designed to easily bounce due to its high-performance rubber. The ball provides the best grip that enables the player to maintain control while dribbling. Its Halloween leather cover gives good feel and better ball control
  • TF-100 Legacy: It has enhanced grip and feels due to its attractive ZK microfiber composite cover. It has a moisture maintenance technology to enable it to remain dry for better grip and control. 

Spalding for Outdoor Use


  • Spalding NBA Street: Besides being a relatively cheaper ball, it is strong and durable and it can withstand rough outdoor surfaces. Its wide channel design improves its grip and control while shooting or dribbling past players. 
  • Spalding Varsity: It has an NBA twitter logo on it. The ball also has a strong rubber cover to withstand rough surfaces. It comes in different attractive colors. 
  • Wilson: The company produces high-quality basketballs for different sizes, colors, and shapes. They are relatively cheaper and durable. They are official balls for NCAA and FIBA 3*3 games. 
  • Nike: It is another famous brand. It was mainly used and accepted for professional basketball games such as NBA but it was outdone by Spalding balls.

Last Words


In conclusion, we have discussed different factors to consider when buying a basketball. All the factors are affected by the budget you have. Expensive basketballs are always better than cheaper ones. Always go for a ball which can serve you for a longer period. All the best in your choice.

Basketball Defense Plays: The Ultimate Guide


Basketball Defense Plays

Majority of the people don't reckon that great basketball defense play is only somewhat related to speed and quick feet . Rather, it is more about good predictions, being aware of the surroundings, nice body balance and basic fundamentals.

If there's one thing keeping many from becoming a good basketball defense play guy, it is because they don't have a good grasp of the defense fundamentals and tactics. Don't let that include you. Take your time reading through this page as it'll help you level up your basketball defense plays. If you really want it and give it enough time, you'd get what you're aiming for.

Around the bottom of this page, you'd also be introduced to the most common defense formations.

Let's get started.

Basketball Defense Plays: The Fundamentals

(1) Basic Stance


Position your feet wide as your shoulders while your weight balanced at the balls of your feet. And in case you're flat footed, stay back on your heels, else, get your legs too close together. It's tough to move fast and you'd find offense opponents dribbling nearby you. Bend your knees slightly keeping your butt low. Then make sure you have one extended high to guard shots and passes, while the other hand extended low on the ball.

(2) Focus On the Waist


Want to avoid getting faked out in basketball? Then you better emphasize on a part of the offense opponents' nonmoving body. A lot of inexperienced players emphasize on the head, eyes and legs of the opposition.

Or focus on watching the ball. If you too monitor the ball, the only thing the defender needs to do is fake a shot, fake a pass, fake going one way and head to the other. Avoid doing this as it'll leave you sucking air while the offense players go for the lay-up. Keep in mind that in order to watch your opposition's mid-section as they can't go anywhere leaving it behind.

If they fake a shot or pass, do something else, you'd be exactly there as you'd witness the waist go where they exactly wish to.

(3) Slide Side-to-Side


Footwork and position are the bloodline of basketball defense plays. Make sure to move side-to-side laterally without crossing your legs. While you slide, sustain your body balance by keeping your feet very near to the width of your shoulders. Further, don't let your feet touch while you move.

(4) Beware of Tendancies


Studying your opponent thoroughly would transform you from an 'OK' defense player to a 'Spectacular' one. You'd want to figure out if they are left or right handed. Do they like driving to the hoop or suggest taking jumping shots? The goal is to gear your opponents to do the opposite of what they intend and like. If they prefer taking jump shots, try making them jump. If they prefer going left, make them go right.

Good footwork is crucial in this case. If you want an offensive player to dribble towards the left, place your left foot slightly forward while dropping your right foot back. Make sure that you stay on the balls of your feet. If they still insist going right, you are set for the moving in front of them. If you can successfully make them go left (that's your right), you can move fast that way. Similarly, you can reverse this method to make them go towards right.

(5) Guarding the Offensive Player


There are 2 vital fundamentals for guarding players who aren't with the ball. Stay between the basket and the player and try to avoid turning your back from the ball. If the offender you're guarding is on the right of the floor, while the ball on the left, raise your bring your hand up while dropping your right foot back a little. Make sure your  left arm is between the ball and the offender. However, don't turn around completely, otherwise you'd be facing your back to the ball. Hold your head up so you can witness your opposition and the ball the whole time.

(6) Shot Blocking


While blocking shots, always try to use your hand nearest to the basket. If someone is coming in from the right of your basket, use your left hand to block. Allowing you to use your hand furthest from the offender's body and reduces the chances of making a foul. You wouldn't be reaching across the offensive player's body, and that will shoot up the chances of making a foul to them.

(7) Switching


A switch happens when 2 defensive players swap player. They're guarding to offer each an improved defense position. For an example, the fellow you're guarding heads towards the left. Their team members arranges a pick and the player you guard dribbles by them. Rather than you knocking over or going around the pick player, your team member, who had been guarding the 'pick', advances before the player controlling the ball. You take over the offender with the ball, and that's how you make a switch.

Be sure that while your team members step outside to meet the player carrying the ball that you keep your shoulder equal to your team member's shoulders. However, if you drop back prior to your shoulder being at the same angle, the player who has the ball can turn around and deal with both of you.

(8) Low-post Defense


The low post region simply is to the right or left of the goal on or close to the free throw lane. It is where offensive fellows (the forward or center typically) would stand awaiting the ball. They try keeping their defenders behind them by extending their legs wide and raising an arm aiming for the pass (they face their back to the goal). As a defender, your first job is keeping the players from making passes. Don't attempt to get before the player. Move your body almost 3 quarters of the way at the front while keeping the arm furthest from the basket inside the passing lane. After your pass is in the air, fall back behind and get into right position to get defending.

Basketball Defense Plays: Most Common Defense Formations

(1) Man-to-Man

Every defensive player (out of the five) guards 1 offensive player each. Even after switching, every player would be responsible for 1 offender at a time.

(2) Zone

Every defender is liable for guarding a certain region, rather than guarding a precise offender. The goal of this formation is to double-team the member holding the ball. When an offender holding the ball enters a region between 2 defenders, the defenders attack  him alongside 3 defenders guarding their regions.

(3) 2-1-2 Zone

2 defenders stand in the position above the foul line. 1 in the lane and other 2 are low on any side of the goal.

(4) 2-3 Zone

2 defenders extend from another above the foul line and the other 3 members are outspread across the bottom half of the lane.

(5) 1-3-1 Zone

One defender takes the slot ahead, 3 are across the foul line stretched and the 5th is down under the goal. The player in the lead attempts to force the dribbler left or right. As that player drives, another defender member comes up for the double team.

(6) 2-2-1 Zone Press

This typically is a full-court defense. Right after the ball is thrown inbounds after a score, the defense begins to guard instantly, this process is called full-court press. Again, the goal is getting 2 defenders double-teaming and trapping the one with the ball while the rest 3 guard the court.

Basketball Center Position: How To Play Basketball Center Position


Basketball Center Position

A Center probably is the rarest of all the basketball positions. This most unique position in basketball brings a lot of special skills and attributes to the table that are designed to conquer the court. The amalgamation of skill and physical requirements demanded in a Center, makes it painstaking to find an appropriate Center even in the professional games.


skills GIF

While finding a person cut out for the basketball center position gets the job done, you can't easily build someone up for this position.

The physical attributes adverted for a center almost always swears by the height. For this reason, you'd almost always see the tallest players positioned as the basketball center position. The Center player hangs around the net often with a duty of contradicting  the rebounding possibility of the opponent. For instance, a Center has to record rebounding figures more than 2x digests each, in every game.

Defensively, a center must keep the most potent opposite players from scoring. For several cases, Center is the back to the basket offensive player, so he needs to have tiptop footwork alongside body stance that's designed to prevent easy post entry basketball passes. It takes time for the center to develop such skills, however, over time, it becomes a habit that doesn't require specialized effort anymore.

Speed and footwork are 2 undermined factors for a Center. However, the basketball game in this day and age, is almost always played without a hard-and-fast 'position' rule. For this reason, you often see situations like a suitable Center matching up against one better suited Power Forward, or also a tall Small Forward. So a Center must be effective and efficient with his footwork while being able to keeping the opponents far from the net, not only nearby the keyway.

Plus, defensively, a potential Center should be qualified enough to block shots, or change the shot driving into the keyway, at the least. Although blocking shots is a few and far between skill, being able to forcing the players to change their attack plans is considered a plus for a Center.

In terms of offensive play, a Center must comprise a wide array of skills, which grow varying on the nature of the player. Some centers are extremely back-to-the-basket low post fellas. Others comprise a very long shooting range designed to pull their defensive match-up far from the net, while revealing the opposition's defense flaws.

brooklyn nets nba GIF

Some of the prime skills a Center has are:

  • Back-to-the-basket offense.
  • Strong middle-of-the-floor moves
  • Post play etc.

Players comprising better range of skills would be able to spice things up even more.

The basketball center position players should be competent in many aspects technically. Screening, for example. It can be on-ball or in usual offensive game. Not only this requires you to set screens, but also learning the best read from the defensive team's reactions.

A Center should be on his toes to produce effective work centering the keyway with another inner player. A ton of offenses involve formations that begin or lead you to a high/low 2 player offensive moves.

The aforementioned tactical and technical skills are just a brief image of the basketball center position players. Just as all the positions in basketball, some players stand out from the sea of sameness with their unique approach, style and ability.

A quality Center is a stellar asset for the team. However, as the position is few and far between, there are many offenses that center around the emptiness of this position. Keep in mind that often basketball center position players mature as a player long after the guard members. This long-run improvement shouldn't discourage any coach from training someone that shows the potential or ability to turn into a great Center.