Basketball has the primary goal of putting the ball through the hoop. However, basketball is a bit more complicated than that. Basketball games are won and lost depending on several factors. Let us examine the keys to basketball games.
1) Free Throw Shooting - This is an often overlooked aspect of the game. Free throws are essentially freebies since you get the chance to put points in the scoreboard unopposed. Close games are often decided by free throws.
2) Rebounding - Rebounding is an important part of the game since it does two things. First is it gives you more chances to score. Second is that it denies your opponent chances to do the same.
3) Defense - Do not give anything easy. Make sure to put a body on everyone attempting to score. Try to deflect passes as well to eat up the opponents clock and to deny scoring opportunities. Always place a hand in the face of jumpshooters to make sure they do not get a clear view of the basket. Try to force opponents out of their sweet spots and into areas in the court where they are not used to taking shots.
4) Turnovers - Turnovers should be limited as much as possible for they do two things. First is that they decreased your opportunities to score since a turnover essentially ends your possession of the ball. Second is that they give the opponent possession of the ball and a scoring opportunity. What is worse is that a lot of times turnovers end up as fast break opportunities for the opposition.
5) Hustle - This talks about the intangibles you bring to a game. Sure blocks, rebounds and steals are an indication that you put in the effort but a lot of this does not show on the scoreboard. Things such as deflections, shot alterations and ball saves don't appear on the stat sheet. Hustle is simply going out there with energy and the will to win.