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The free throw lane. See in the paint.
A violation in which a player moves his hand under the ball and scoops it while dribbling. Also: carrying the ball.
When a passer throws the ball to a teammate; used to start plays, move the ball downcourt, keep it away from defenders and get it to a shooter.
The player who passes the ball to a teammate.
Passing Lane
An opening between defenders through which the ball can be passed to a teammate.
Penalty Situation
When a team has committed more than its allotted four fouls per quarter and thus each subsequent foul becomes a shooting foul. Also: Over the limit.
The area beyond the foul circle away from the basket, including 3-point line, from which players take long-range shots.
Perimeter Shot
A shot from the perimeter; an outside shot.
A segment of a basketball game. A National Basketball Association game consists of four 12-minute periods, or quarters. A college game is made up of two 20-minute halves.
Personal Foul
A foul that involves physical contact between opposing players. Among the most common personal fouls are blocking, charging, elbowing, hacking, and holding. A player is disqualified from the game after committing six fouls in the National Basketball Association, five fouls at other levels of play. See also flagrant foul; intentional foul; offensive foul; technical foul; violation.
When an offensive player frees a teammate for a shot by establishing a stationary position that prevents a defensive player from guarding the shooter. If the player who is "setting a pick" is not stationary and contact is made with a defender, it is an offensive foul and his team loses possession of the ball. Also: screen.
Pick and Roll
A play on which a player sets a screen, then pivots and heads toward the basket to receive a pass.
You are the point guard. The power forward is in the low post, the center in the high post. You bring the ball up court and pass to the center, who draws a double team and kicks it out to you. You pass to the left or right wing just as another guard comes up and sets a pick for you -- you then "roll" to the basket to get the pass for a lay-up or open shot. The Utah Jazz use this one a lot.
Pick-Up Games
Impromptu games played among players who just met.
Picked Off
Refers to a defender who has been successfully prevented from reaching the ball handler by an offensive screen.
The area near the basket, generally where the center operates, or the act of changing directions, by keeping one foot planted on the ground while stepping in one or more directions with the other foot.
Pivot Foot
The foot that must remain on the floor while the player has the ball. If a player gets control of the ball with both feet on the floor, either foot can become the pivot foot. If the player catches the ball while in the air, the first foot that hits the floor is the pivot foot. Once the pivot foot has been established, the player can take any number of steps with the other foot, provided the pivot foot remains in the same spot. Moving the pivot foot, except to leave the floor for a pass or a shot, is traveling.
Pivot Man
A team's center.
Player Control Foul
In college and high school basketball, a foul committed by the player holding, dribbling, or shooting the ball. The penalty is always a throw-in for the opposing team, never a free throw.
Player-Control Foul
An offensive foul that is committed not when a player is shooting, but just when his team is in control of the ball.
1) The player who usually works to set up plays for his teammates; almost always the point guard. 2) A player who consistently comes up with big plays when needed.
1) Basketball's basic scoring unit. A free throw is worth 1 point, a field goal 2 or 3 points, depending on whether it's shot from behind the three-point line. 2) The area in the frontcourt behind the free throw circle, where the point guard usually operates.
Point Guard
The player who usually brings the ball upcourt for his team and runs the offense. Compare shooting guard.
Point Spread
A device established by bookmakers to equalize 2 teams for betting purposes; e.g., if a team is considered to be 4 points better than another, the spread is 4 points; to win a bet on the favorite, that team would need to win by more than the spread (in this case, by more than 4 points); the margin of victory is more important than whether a team wins or loses.
An illegal practice where players intentionally win a game, but by fewer points than the point spread; led to 2 major college scandals (involved 32 of the biggest stars in the 1950s, then 22 colleges in 1961).
To be holding or in control of the ball.
Possession Arrow
A sideline indicator at high school and college games that has a lighted arrow showing which team is next entitled to the ball under the alternate-possession rule.
A position just outside the free throw lane, either near the basket or near the foul line. See high post; low post.
Post Position
The position of a player standing in the low post or high post.
Post Up
To establish a position in the low post, usually in order to take advantage of a smaller defender.
Posting Up
The process of getting into post position.
Power Forward
A strong, bulky forward who can score from near the basket and get rebounds. Compare small forward.
A defense that puts extreme pressure on the player with the ball, often using double teams, in an attempt to force bad passes and other turnovers. See full-court press; half-court press.
Pump Fake
A fake in which a player motions as if he is going to shoot the ball but holds back, hoping his defender will jump out of position.
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