What is the NBA?
The NBA stands for the National Basketball Association. It is the professional basketball league in North America. It has 30 Franchise* teams, 29 in America and 1 in Canada (Toronto Raptors). It was founded in 1946 and was renamed NBA in 1949 (originally called the Basketball Association of America and later merged with the National Basketball League to form the now NBA).
What are the rules of the game?
Basketball is a team sport. Two teams of five players each try to score by shooting a ball through a hoop elevated 10 feet above the ground. The game is played on a rectangular floor called the court, and there is a hoop at each end. The court is divided into two main sections by the mid-court line. If the offensive team puts the ball into play behind the mid-court line, it has ten seconds to get the ball over the mid-court line. If it doesn’t, then the defense gets the ball. Once the offensive team gets the ball over the mid-court line, it can no longer have possession of the ball in the area in back of the line. If it does, the defense is awarded the ball. The team with the ball is called the offense. The team without the ball is called the defense.
How does the points system work?
When a team makes a basket, they score two points and the ball goes to the other team. If a basket, or field goal, is made outside of the three-point arc, then that basket is worth three points. A free throw is worth one point. Free throws are awarded to a team according to some formats involving the number of fouls committed in a half and/or the type of foul committed. Fouling a shooter always results in two or three free throws being awarded the shooter, depending upon where he was when he shot. If he was beyond the three-point line, then he gets three shots.
How long is a game?
Each game is divided into sections. In the NBA these sections are called quarters. Quarters are twelve minutes long. There is a gap of several minutes between halves. Gaps between quarters are relatively short. If the score is tied at the end of regulation, then overtime periods of various lengths are played until a winner emerges.
Each team is assigned a basket or goal to defend. This means that the other basket is their scoring basket. At halftime, the teams switch goals. The game begins with one player from either team at center court. A referee will toss the ball up between the two. The player that gets his hands on the ball will tip it to a teammate. This is called a tip-off. In addition to stealing the ball from an opposing player, there are other ways for a team to get the ball.
Who runs the NBA?
The NBA is essentially run by the NBA Commissioner. Adam Silver is the 5th NBA commissioner following, Maurice Podoloff the first commissioner (1946-1963), Walter Kennedy (1963-1975), Larry O’Brien (1975-1983), David Stern, the longest serving commissioner to date and first commissioner I as a fan was introduced to, (1984-2014) and of course Adam Silver (2014- present).
The role of the NBA commissioner is VERY important. It is the League’s top position. The Commissioner leads, runs, governs every aspect of the NBA. Each commissioner has shaped every virtual matter of the NBA, even Silver has shaped NBA policies and he’s only had the job for less than a year. It really is remarkable how each of the commissioner have moulded the NBA into a multi billion sport. I will do an article on what each commissioner has done for the NBA in the next couple weeks so you can really understand the transformation of this sport.
How many teams are there?
There are 30 Franchise* teams, 29 in America and 1 in Canada.
We all know America is BIG ARSE country so I’m going to explain who and where the teams are how they compete.
The NBA divides thirty teams into TWO conferences : EAST & WEST within these conferences they are spilt up into three divisions with five teams each.
EASTERN CONFERENCE WESTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION: NORTHWEST DIVISION:
BOSTON CELTICS DENVER NUGGETS
BROOKLYN NETS MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
NEW YORK KNICKS OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
PHILADELPHIA SIXERS PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
TORONTO RAPTORS UTAH JAZZ
CENTRAL DIVISION: PACIFIC DIVISION :
CHICAGO BULLS GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
DETROIT PISTONS LOS ANGELES LAKERS
INDIANA PACERS PHOENIX SUNS
MILWAUKEE BUCKS SACRAMENTO KINGS
SOUTH EAST DIVISION: SOUTH WEST DIVISION:
ATLANTA HAWKS DALLAS MAVERICKS
CHARLOTTE HORNETS HOUSTON ROCKETS
MIAMI HEAT MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
ORLANDO MAGIC NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
WASHINGTON WIZARDS SAN ANTONIO SPURS
So, these are all the NBA teams. These 30 teams are spilt into 2 geographical location based conferences EAST & WEST( they won’t change unless the teams moves to a different state).
How does the season work?
The season starts in October and finishes April/June (based on how that team performs during the playoffs*). Pre season doesn’t count it is used for a warm up of newly formed teams to get used to playing with each other, testing new techniques, new rosters* new formations etc. The 2014-2015 season starts on Tuesday October 28th and finishes April 15th 2015. The Playoffs* then start on the 18th April and the NBA Finals will begin June 4th 2015.
The teams play 82 game schedule (although this is up for debate). That gives teams to play each other 3 times in the season. The TOP 8 records in each conference go to the PLAYOFFS. The Playoffs are more intense, more pressure, more at stake.
How does the PLAYOFFS work?
If a team leads its division at the end of regular season they are guaranteed a top 3 seed in the conference even if a second or third place team in a division has a better record. After the regular season each playoff team will have a seed between 1 and 8 based on where they finished in the conference.
The playoffs are 4 rounds of 7 game series (3 at home, 3 away & The team with the better record has home court advantage for the 7th game). The teams are matched up in the first round by seed. ie. 1 will play 8, 2 will play 7, 3 will play 6 and 4 will play 5.
Each playoff series is 4 out 7. Meaning that in order for a team to advance to the next round they have to win 4 games out of the 7.
The teams play a total of 4 Rounds (the first round, the conference semi-finals, the Conference Finals, & the NBA finals), after each round the total number of teams is cut in half.
8 best teams from the West compete against each other. 1 winner from the West = Western Conference Champions
8 best teams from the East compete against each other. 1 winner from the East = Eastern Conference Champions.
NBA Finals (Western Conference Winners v Eastern Conference Winners) = NBA CHAMPIONS!
Which players go to which teams?
There are 2 ways a player gets signed up to a team. The NBA Draft and Trade.
1) The NBA DRAFT (this section is directly copied from a yahoo post 3 years ago)
‘The NBA Draft takes place every year and is the process of bringing young players into the league, as unlike sport over here NBA teams do not have youth systems. Each team gets one pick in the first round of the draft and one pick in the second round of the draft so as there are 30 teams in the league a total of 60 players will be drafted.
So where do the players come from?
The youngsters have normally played high-profile college basketball in America or in leagues in Europe, there is a minimum age of 19. Any player can declare for the draft but NBA scouts will have been assessing the best players for years meaning only the top stars are likely to be drafted
Who gets the best player then, is it a bidding process?
In the NBA the team with the worst record has the best chance of getting the first overall pick which would allow them the pick of those who have declared for the NBA draft.
How does that work?
The NBA Draft lottery takes place in May. Each of the 14 teams who didn’t make the NBA Playoffs had a chance of winning the lottery and therefore taking the first overall pick. The odds varied depending on how bad the team’s record was.
How important is the number one pick?
Some of the NBA’s best have been taken with the first overall pick, including LeBron James in 2003, Tim Duncan in 1997 and Shaquille O’Neal in 1992. However, Michael Jordan was selected with the third pick in 1984 and current Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant was taken with the 13th pick in the very strong 1996 draft proving teams do make mistakes. ‘
I personally believe every pick is important. If that team thinks they know who is the next superstar or we can mould them to be the next superstar it really shouldn’t matter. Some of the best players in the sport weren’t the number 1 pick.
2) Signing and Trading a player
The sign and trade agreement is pretty much standard to many. If the players contract is up he is a free agent * and able to sign with another team. ie. Lebron James in 2010 when he was a free agent and went to Miami Heat and just like 2014 he was a free agent again and signed with the team that drafted him Cleveland Cavaliers. Same goes with Carmelo Anthony and other nba players. However some players do not have luxury of being a free agent where you get to see how loved you are basically and you get to pick which team you want to play for. Players get traded*. (next section taken from nba.com). A team is not allowed to sign another team’s free agent and then immediately trade him. However, a team is allowed to re-sign their own free agent and immediately trade him to another team by adding a clause to the contract making it invalid if the player is not traded to a specific team within 48 hours. A sign-and-trade contract must be for three years or longer, and a team does not acquire the player’s Bird rights.
What is the Salary Cap?
The salary cap is the total amount of money each team is allowed to spend on players. The actual figure varies year to year based on league revenue from previous seasons, and NBA Commissioner David Stern recently announced that this year’s number will be set at about
So, if a team needs a centre and has 3 power forwards on hand it will probably trade one of those power forwards in order to get a centre. Trade bait/ exchange is a common thing in the NBA and other sports as well.
This brings me on to the the next topic.
What positions are there?
In basketball, a five-player team scores points by getting the ball through the hoop. Each basketball player has a specific position and responsibilities. The positions — which consist of two guards, two forwards, and one center — call for different physical requirements and skills:
Point Guard: Usually the shortest player on the team. Should be the team’s best passer and ball handler; not primarily a shooter. Traditional role is to push the ball upcourt and start the offensive wheels turning. Should either take the ball to the basket or remain near the top of the key, ready to retreat on defense. Best and brightest: Derrick Rose.
Shooting Guard: Generally taller than a point guard but shorter than a small forward. Not necessarily a great ball handler, but normally the team’s best perimeter shooter. A good shooting guard (or two guard) comes off screens set by taller teammates prepared to shoot, pass, or drive to the basket. Also tries to grab rebounds on offense. Best and brightest: Dwyane Wade.
Small Forward: The all-purpose player on offense: aggressive and strong; tall enough to mix it up inside but agile enough to handle the ball and shoot well. Must be able to score both from the perimeter and from inside. Best and brightest: Carmelo Anthony.
Power Forward: Has muscles or at least a little bulk. Must be able to catch passes and hit shots near the basket. A good, rugged rebounder, but athletic enough to move with some quickness around the lane on offense and defense. Expected to score when given the opportunity on the baseline, much like a center, but usually has a range of up to 15 feet all around the basket. Best and brightest: Pau Gasol.
Center: Usually the tallest player on the team. Should be able to post up offensively — that is, receive the ball with his back to the basket and use pivot moves to hit a variety of short jumpers, hook shots, and dunks. Also must know how to find the open player in the paint and grab offensive rebounds. Best and brightest: Dwight Howard.
I’ll be adding to the basics in the coming week! If you have any other questions you bwant answered. Just ‘post up*’ on the comments section.
– Court layout
* Terminology and phrases can be found on the terminology page .