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A defensive tactic in which a player drops off his man to help double-team a player in the pivot.
Salary Cap
Common term for Maximum Team Salary, the maximum amount each team may pay in salaries during an NBA season, as per teams of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Scoop Shot
A shot taken with an underhand, scooping motion while moving toward the basket.
An official who keeps a running total of field goals, free throws, points, personal fouls, and technical fouls for each player and team. A player entering the game as a substitute must report to the scorer, who sounds a buzzer at the next dead ball to inform the referee. When a player has fouled out of the game, the scorer has to notify the nearest referee.
Scoring Opportunity
When a player gets open for a shot that is likely to score.
To take a position in the anticipated path of the defensive player guarding a teammate in order to free the teammate to take an open shot or go to the basket. Also used as a noun.
Screen or Screener
The offensive player who stands between a teammate and a defender to gives his teammate the chance to take an open shot.
Set Offense
See half-court offense.
Set Shot
A shot taken while a player has both feet on the floor in a set position. Common in basketball's early years, it is now all but extinct, having given way to the harder-to-block jump shot.
Shoot Off the Dribble
A shot taken while driving to the basket.
A player who takes a shot at the basket.
Shooter's Roll
The ability to get even an inaccurate shot to bounce lightly off the rim and into the basket
Shooting Guard
A guard who is depended on to shoot more and handle the ball less than the point guard; often a good three-point shooter.
Shooting Range
The distance from which a player is likely to make his shots.
Shot Clock
A clock that indicates the amount of time a team has in which to take a shot. The time limit is 24 seconds in the National Basketball Association and in international play, 35 seconds in men's college basketball, and 30 seconds for collegiate women. A shot must go through the basket or touch the rim before time has expired.
One of the two boundary lines that run from baseline to baseline.
2 boundary lines that run the length of the court.
Sixth Man
The best substitute on a team; usually the first player to come off the bench to replace a starter.
Sky Hook
A hook shot released from above the level of the rim.
A hook shot in which the ball is released while the shooter's hand is at the top of the arc; used most effectively by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time career scoring leader.
The ability to move laterally while in the air.
Slam Dunk
A dunk on which the ball is thrown down very hard through the basket.
Small Forward
A forward who is typically smaller and quicker than the power forward, therefore more likely to play facing the basket and to take jump shots.
Square Up
To take a position looking at the basket, with the line between the shoulders forming a right angle with a line drawn to the center of the basket, preparatory to taking a shot.
Squaring Up
When a player's shoulders are facing the basket as he releases the ball for a shot; considered the best shooting position.
An offensive alignment in which two players set up in a low post position one side of the lane and a third player is in the low post on the other side. Most commonly used for throw-ins from behind the baseline.
Starting Lineup
The 5 starters who begin a game; usually a team's best players.
To take the ball away from the opposing team, either off the dribble or by picking off a pass.
See traveling.
Strong Side
The side of the court on which the ball is located. Opposite of weak side.
See dunk.
A player who comes into the game to replace a player on the court.
Swing Man
A player who can be used at two positions, usually guard and forward.
To make a shot that goes in without touching the rim or backboard.
When teammates exchange defensive assignments during play.
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