How to fit in
Basketball today has largely abandoned the traditional five-position model and its associated specializations in skill sets. Instead, the game is played at a fast pace with versatile players who seem to do everything. Players who have been brought up in more old-school systems may feel stumped by this recent development, but fret not. Here are some tips to help you fit right into the position-less era.
Cut: Many would consider shooting the most essential skill in this generation, but there is a simpler area you can start with. Moving without the ball is an art-form, but at its most basic, entails only effort and awareness. If your man overplays you or loses sight of you, simply cut to the basket. The paint tends to be wide open with the rise of ‘stretch fours’ and ‘stretch fives’, leaving easy baskets for the opportunistic cutter.
Shoot: Of course, shooting is an important skill which has resulted in the ample spacing for modern offenses. With many other shooting threats on the team, the opposing defense is unable to key in on any single player. If your team is willing to swing the ball fast, you will invariably end up in catch-and-shoot situations, which is one of the most effective ways to score in basketball.
Dribble: If the opponents are as mobile and versatile as your squad, they might adopt a tighter, perimeter-oriented pressing defense. In these scenarios, you will have to show that you can drive to the basket. Every player has to be ready and able to slash, and this begins with solid ball-handling fundamentals.
Pass: The willingness to pass comes first, as a single ‘ball-stopper’ can kill the whole offense. Beyond that, you have to be more aware of your teammates’ positioning on the court, as a position-less offense is more fluid and players are unlikely to remain in the same spots for long. Drive-and-kick opportunities will also arise, which force the defense to rotate continuously.