How to be a Great Scorer in Basketball

The following basketball scoring tips can be utilized by anyone, any age, any skill level. Of course, being a good shooter helps, but there are a number of other ways to rack up a few more points in the stat sheet.

The following basketball scoring tips can be utilized by anyone, any age, any skill level. Of course, being a good shooter helps, but there are a number of other ways to rack up a few more points in the stat sheet.

The first tip for basketball scoring is to have CONFIDENCE. If you’ve explored more pages of then you probably notice that confidence is an underlying theme in virtually all tips. If you have confidence in yourself, then it will reflect in your game.

Become a Better Shooter

The first of the basketball scoring tips is to improve your shooting. How do you score in basketball? You shoot the ball into the basket! So, if you become a better shooter then you will likely score more points.

As with any other skill, the way to improve your shot and score more points in basketball is to practice. Practice, in turn, gives you CONFIDENCE.

Also, begin with the fundamentals of shooting to help get proper form. Proper form will increase your likelihood of making the shot. Not only should you perfect your form, but also use the backboard to maximize the chances of the ball going in the basket. You’ll also want to be able to use both your right and left hands when you’re in close to the basket. It helps to protect the ball from defenders and makes you twice as hard to guard down low.

Start with these general tips, and also check out the basketball shooting tips for more in-depth shooting tips. Before you do that, though, check out the rest of the scoring tips to set yourself apart from everyone else just working on their shot.

Move without the Ball

Moving without the ball should actually be at the top of the list of basketball scoring tips, but most people think of shooting when they think of scoring. You can’t get open for the spot-up shot or even get open enough to get the ball if you don’t move without it.

Some of the best 3-point shooters (Larry Bird, Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller, Glenn Rice, etc.) were/are spot-up shooters. Don’t get me wrong, some mentioned could create for themselves, or shoot through defenses like they’re not even there, but their spot upshot was created by moving without the ball. This means not only finding the open spot on the court but using screens and setting them.

This not only applies to 3-point shooters, Richard Hamilton and Carmello Anthony are other scorers that move very well without the ball effectively to set up their shots. I had the privilege of season tickets to the nuggets over the past two years and noticed that Carmello Anthony got at least one oop a game by either coming off of a screen or setting a screen himself.

You may be asking, “how do I set a screen help me to score?” That’s a legitimate question, but take a second to think about it: when you set a screen you become the “forgotten man,” as defenders may be confused by switching, take a few steps away from you to stop the person you set a screen for, or both go with him or her. This is when you can read the defense and cut to the basket for an easy bucket or step back to the open spot on the floor for your spot-up jumper.

Of course, moving without the ball portion of these basketball scoring tips isn’t just about setting and using screens. A quick note, however, that using screens also means setting them up. Start cutting away from where you expect the screen, if your man follows you, then he/she is set up. If they don’t, then just keep going to the basket!

Back to more moving without the ball that doesn’t involve screens: simply don’t stand still! Move around on the floor and make the defense chase you. If you stand still, you’re too easy to guard. Move around and find the open spot on the floor or the open path to cut to the basket for an easy score.


If you’ve explored any of the basketball rebounding pages, then you probably already know why rebounding is included in the list of basketball scoring tips: if you get an offensive rebound, then you will get a lot of easy put-backs. Why? You’ve probably positioned yourself between the defender and the basket, so you’ve got a clear shot or at least a chance at some free throws.

This not only applies to offensive put-backs. In actuality, getting more rebounds maximizes your chances of getting another shot. If you get an offensive board that you couldn’t put back up right away, you’ve at least given your team another possession in which you may get another shot. Also, if you get a defensive rebound, you’ve kept the other team from taking a possession away from yours. So, crash the boards!

Become a Better Ball Handler

Just like standing still makes you easy to guard, so does not being able to handle the ball. If you’re nothing but a shooter, then sure, you’ll get some open shots if you move without the ball, but if you catch the ball with a defender on you then he/she is just going to crowd you to prevent the shot if you can’t put it on the floor.

Being a decent ball handler can also help you to use your teammates’ screens (and set them up). Check out the basketball dribbling tips to help make both hands strong (again, not being able to dribble limits you, but so does only being able to dribble with one hand). This can also help you to perform the next of the basketball scoring tips…

Drive to the Basket

You’ve probably realized by now that many of the basketball scoring tips are overlapping or interdependent: You can’t drive to the basket very effectively if you can’t handle the ball. As previously mentioned, if you don’t drive then you’re easier to guard and it’s harder for you to score. Of course, take the jumper when it’s open, but also put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket for a higher percentage shot (which in turn increases your chances of scoring).

Not only will you be shooting a higher percentage shot, but you are much more likely to get fouled and get a chance at some points from the charity stripe, which, again, leads into more basketball scoring tips…

Improve your free throw shooting

Why do people hack Shaq frequently? Because they’d rather take their chances of him making a free throw than him making an easy bucket inside. It’s still a fairly effective strategy because more often then not he’s not going to make two free throws. What that means for Shaquille O’Neil is that he’s left points off of the stat sheet that he could’ve had on there and his scoring average suffers because of it.

If people know you’re a poor free-throw shooter then the same will apply to you. They are supposed to be “free” points because you are undefended, so make the most of your opportunities and practice your free throws! It amazes me at how a number of good shooters or fundamentally sound players have such poor free throw percentages.

Include free-throws in every day of your training, but the key is to also practice them when your legs are tired to simulate game-type situations. Free throws always count, but they are much more crucial toward the end of the game, when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter and your legs are tired. Do some conditioning drills and then practice your free throws.

Again, this leads to yet another of the basketball scoring tips:

Improve your Basketball Conditioning

A great deal of the basketball scoring tips referred to above require a lot of endurance, so to be effective at them you must improve your basketball conditioning.

You’re shot will become flat if your legs are too tired to use them properly when shooting, and you will have more difficulty sinking the free throws when the game is on the line.

Another issue with having poor basketball conditioning would be a lack of effort on your part to move without the ball. As you can see, moving without the ball is critical in maximizing your scoring opportunities, but if you’re too tired to move, then you won’t be able to get any good lucks or even get the ball in your hands.

The same applies for rebounding, the more tired you are, the less likely you are to put forth any extra effort toward getting aboard. You’ll be easier to push out of position, and also won’t be able to jump as high, quickly, or often as necessary to finally rip down that board.

Now I realize everything I just described is the negative aspect of not having good basketball conditioning, but the positive aspect is that your defender will have a harder time guarding you if you’re still moving at full speed when he/she is winded. Another positive aspect is that if the defense is tired and you are still running at full speed, then you might get some more fast-break points in which you aren’t even defended.

Make Ball Fakes

The last of the basketball scoring tips is to make ball fakes. If you’ve studied this site and made yourself a complete player, then you’ll be considered a legitimate “triple threat” in which you can shoot, pass or drive. If the defense is aware of this then they may be anticipating any of these actions, so get them to move away from where you want to go.

If you’ve been hitting open jumpers all night, then put up a shot fake when the defense is closing out on you. When they commit to the shot, then you can go by them to find an open spot for the jumper or drive straight to the basket with one less defender to worry about.

You can also fake a drive with a jab step to clear up enough space to get a good look at the jumper, or jab step one way to get the defender off balance and then drive the other way for an easier look.

Finally, you can fake passes, too. It may help to get the whole defense to jump in one direction, opening up paths for you to drive and increase your chances of a good look or getting fouled. Of course, if you’re a poor passer this won’t be very effective, so also explore the basketball passing to improve your passing skills. This will also help to keep help defenders more worried about leaving their man to stop you if they know that you can dish the ball for easier baskets.

Remember, scoring isn’t all there is to basketball, but these basketball scoring tips should help you in that category (and others). Explore the links above or following to improve on some of these aspects and watch your scoring average climb! Make yourself a complete player, though, by also checking outrebounding and defense sections.