How to Play Intelligent Basketball Against Taller Players

Image by Kriss Szkurlatowski
Image by Kriss Szkurlatowski

This hub will focus mostly on the center as "the big man" but the strategies outlined herein will also work against bigger players in general. This article will tell you ways to neutralize and/or to defeat that taller, bigger player.

In all types of basketball, one of the ways to neutralize or defeat a dominating big man is to have a great outside shot. With lots of practice you can nail one shot after another from 10-15 feet. If you can do this the big man is not as much of a factor.

If you plan to go in a bit deeper into his territory your shot selection becomes very important. A fade away shot is excellent but you must be very accurate and confident cause if you miss you have little chance of getting the rebound.

Something I loved to do in the past when I was younger, and quite good I may add, was to fake out the big man. You see, a big center likes to see himself as a dominator and an intimidating shot blocker. He likes to show you who is boss. You can use this psychology against him.

Based on their way of thinking, big men are susceptible to a good fake. Once he goes into the air based on your fake, it is he who is then vulnerable. As the shooter, you then can maneuver your body to get a nice, close shot at the basket.

It is also easy to draw a foul when the big guy is in the air...all you have to do is just kinda maneuver yourself a little in front of him. Gravity and his momentum will cause him to fall somewhat against you and he then will be called for the foul. Don't get too much under him however or you may end up looking like a pancake. If you are really skilled or a bit lucky, you can shoot at the same time you try to draw the foul and who knows, you may get the basket and draw the foul.

When you drive into the big man's territory, if he considers you a viable threat, he will confront or commit to you. As he does, you can then make a good pass to a teammate. Your teammate will then get a better look and shot at the basket as a result of the center focusing on you.

Speed and leaping ability are bonuses when dealing with bigger players. Coaches can also pick from a selection of plays designed for use against a big, opposing center.

So, don't be so afraid of the big guy next time you play some b ball. With some practice you will be able to nail bucket after bucket from the outside. If you choose to go into his territory you can then draw on the other options referenced herein. 

Best wishes!

Have you ever burnt the big guy with any tips described herein?

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Missing Link 6 years ago from Oregon Author

big_C74,

Hi there! Glad to know you are doing well against those taller guys! Thanks!


big_C74 profile image

big_C74 6 years ago

I totally agree with you on this point. I play pickup ball with a lot of tall guys. My jump shot...well...my jumpshot is broken. So I spend a lot of time in the paint and on the block. That's not a great area for a guy that is 5'11. So I have learned just what you are describing here in your article, to give a good fake with some good quick moves you can get layups all day. That is until the big man gets wiser. But most of those guys are so busy flailing their arms trying to throw your shot into the stands to figure it out...lol

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