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The painted area between the end line and the free-throw line near each basket, outside which players line up for free throws. Also known as the key, because in the early years it was key-shaped. It was twice widened to its present rectangular shape.
Lane Violation
1) Entering the free throw lane when the free throw is in the air but before it has touched the backboard, net, or rim. If committed by a player on the shooter's team, the free throw attempt is negated and the ball goes to the other team for a throw-in. If committed by a defensive player, it's ignored if the shot goes in but the shooter is allowed another free throw if the shot misses. 2) A three-second violation.
A shot on which the shooter leaps up from near the basket and drops the ball gently in with one hand.
Similar to a lay-in, except that the ball is banked in off the backboard.
Layup or Layin
A shot taken after driving to the basket by leaping up under the basket and using one hand to drop the ball directly into the basket (layin) or to bank the ball off the backboard into it (layup).
Lead Official
The referee or official who is primarily responsible for action between the baseline and the free throw line extended. After a change in possession, when the ball begins to move toward the other end of the court, the lead official usually becomes the trail official.
Lead Pass
A pass thrown well ahead of a running teammate.
Leading the Receiver
When a passer throws the ball where he thinks a receiver is headed.
Live Ball
As soon as a ball is given to a free-throw shooter or a thrower on a throw-in, it is live, but the game clock does not restart until the ball is alive.
Loose Ball
The ball when it is in play but not in the possession of either team; e.g., when it is rolling along the floor or coming off the backboard after a missed shot.
Loose-Ball Foul
A foul committed while neither team has possession of the ball, as while going for a rebound.
The process that determines the order of selection, among the non-playoff teams, in the first round of the draft.
Low Post
An area in the frontcourt, near the basket and on one side or the other of the free throw lane, where the center or a power forward is often positioned. See also double post; high post.
Lower Percentage Shot
A shot that is less likely to go in the basket, such as one thrown by a player who is off balance or outside his shooting range.
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