8 Keys to Becoming a Great Scorer in Basketball

8 Keys to Becoming a Great Scorer in Basketball

This article was written by Basketball HQ co-founder Kyle Ohman.


1. Score Within the Offense

  • Set Plays
    • Master your team’s set basketball plays and recognize when and where there are great scoring opportunities for yourself.
    • It could be a play designed specifically for you or for another teammate, but you always need to be ready to take a high percentage shot within your team’s offense.
  • Read the Defense
    • Don’t be a robot when running plays. Understand how the defense is guarding a certain action, and then exploit it.
    • This requires knowing and understanding each play at a high level. If you are always trying to remember the play, you won’t be able to read the defense.


2. Play to Your Strengths

  • You are What you Shoot
    • You must value the shots that you shoot. Not every shot is a good shot.
    • Look for high percentage shots to take advantage of.
  • Seek Out YOUR Shot
    • Every scorer has different spots on the floor that they prefer. So get the ball where you want it, and then shoot the shot that you want.
  • Use Your Teammates
    • Don’t try to do it on your own.
    • i.e., If you are great with ball screens, look to use a ball screen with one of your post players to score.
    • Communicate with your teammates and let them know where you want to get the ball.

3. Next Play Mentality

  • Short Memory
    • Not every shot is going to go in; that is just how it works. You should never let a miss impact the next shot.
    • Move on to the next play and shoot the next shot with confidence.
  • Confidence
    • You must be mentally tough and have confidence in your abilities.
    • Don’t allow a few misses to deter you from taking the next quality shot that comes your way (as long as it fits the moment in the game).


4. Take Advantage of Easy Baskets

  • Transition
  • Hard Cuts
    • Read the defense and take advantage of miscommunication or laziness with hard cuts to the basket.
    • Backdoor: if the defender is playing too high in the passing lane, back cut to the basket for an easy finish.
    • Face Cut: if the defender doesn’t jump to the ball after a pass, cut right across their face.
  • Offensive Rebounds
    • Crash the boards hard and look to get easy put backs.
    • If you are more of a guard, be ready to shoot kick out 3 pointers off the offensive rebound.


5. Free Throws

  • Aggressiveness
    • Put pressure on the defense and force them to commit fouls.
    • Play under control while being aggressive and don’t pick up out of control fouls or turn the basketball over.
  • Free Points
  • End of Game Situations
    • Making free throws at a high percentage adds a lot of value in close games when the other team must foul to extend the game.


6. Offensive Balance

  • Create for Others
    • You must be willing to set up other teammates to keep the defense from collapsing on you every time you make a move.
    • Being a dual-threat to score and create puts so much more pressure on the defense.
  • Multiple Scoring Moves
    • Be able to score in a variety of different ways.
    • You will have “go-to moves,” but you also need to be able to exploit the defense when they are overplaying you a certain way.
    • Example: A guard that can both shoot at a high level and finish at the basket is a lot harder to guard than a player that is only one-dimensional.


7. Develop your Weaknesses

  • Don’t Avoid Your Weakness
    • Purposely set time aside to work on areas of your game that you struggle with.
    • Write out what you need to work on and how you are going to improve in those areas.
  • Constant Development


8. Defense to Offense

  • Stops to Buckets
    • Getting hands in passing lanes, harassing the ball handler, rebounds, etc., can open up transition opportunities and allow you to turn defense to offense.
    • This doesn’t mean gambling outside of team strategy; stay disciplined.
  • Team Defense
    • Buy into team defense and recognize that defense ignites the offense.
    • Don’t be the player known as a scorer but takes it easy on the defensive end and hurts team defense.



8 Keys to Becoming a Great Scorer in Basketball Conclusion

When you hear the word “scorer” in basketball, you sometimes think of it negatively because there are so many volume shooters out there that we label as scorers. Being a great scorer, though, means being able to score the basketball efficiently; it is done with one purpose in mind, and that is to help the team win.

Great scorers shoot the basketball with accountability. They know that it is their role to shoot a lot of shots and score points for their team. However, they don’t just shoot any shot that they want or feel like. It is about the team, and they show that by choosing to shoot high percentage shots.

Scorers are usually naturally gifted, but GREAT scorers are also some of the hardest workers as well. If you look at players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, etc., you will quickly see that they are also some of the hardest workers. If you want to develop into a great scorer, it starts in the gym with hours and hours of hard work. This allows you to shoot the ball with confidence and take the big shots at the end of the game.



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