What Is The Baseline In Basketball?

What Is The Baseline In Basketball?

Key Takeaway: Knowing and understanding the baseline on a basketball court is essential for executing effective offensive and defensive strategies. It is a key area where strategic plays can lead to easy scoring opportunities, making it crucial for players to be well-versed in baseline strategies in order to excel on the court.

To be a good basketball player, it is essential to know different parts of a basketball court. Having this knowledge will help you to understand the game and every basketball strategy. But if you are a lazy basketball player and have no desire to gain this knowledge, then probably it’s better for you to find another sport.

Today, we are going to talk about the baseline on the basketball court. This part of the basketball court has many strategies that can be executed that can result in an easy score. It is often used as a strategy for both offense and defense play.

I think you often heard this baseline thing while watching a basketball game like the NBA. This part of the court is the common and most well-known part of a basketball court. But if you are new to this sport and you have no idea what I am talking about, then stay and keep reading. Because today, I am going to discuss with you what baseline is in basketball.

What Is Baseline In Basketball?

For a quick answer, the baseline is the boundary at both ends of the basketball court. It is the out of bounds line behind each basketball rim. The line behind the backboard measures four feet, and the length of it is the same as the width of the basketball court, which is fifty feet. 

Check out the picture below for more information:

Photo From dunkorthree.com

You may be confused by the difference between the baseline and the endline. The baseline is the line under the basket where a player can shoot, while the end line is the line under the basket where you inbound the ball after the opposing team score. Many strategic plays can happen on the baseline. It is the easiest part of the basketball court to score. 

Related Article: Parts Of Basketball Court

Baseline Rules

In basketball, there are four boundaries where a player can get an out of bounds call from the refs if they fall to the lines. The four boundaries of the basketball court are the baseline and end line, and the two sidelines. If the player’s foot or any parts of his/her body touch these lines, it will be considered out of bounds, and the possession of the ball will be turned over to their opposing team. 

Any out of bounds call by the referees in the baseline will result in the opposing team to get possession of the ball for an attempt to inbound the ball under the basket. The referees decided who will inbound the ball. The player who is near the area where the ball went out of bounds, he/she will be the one to inbound the ball. The player who will inbound the ball has a total of five seconds only to pass the ball inside to his teammates. 

The end line is also used every inbound after made baskets. When the offensive team manages to sink a shot, the defensive team must take the ball out of bounds on the end line. The inbounder can move as much as they want along the line, but they must be careful because they can’t cross from it. If they cross from, it then it would be a violation. The players can only inbound the ball within five seconds. If they have inbounded the ball successfully, they will become the offensive team. 

Every basketball player must watch out for inbounding the ball on the baseline because they might hit the backboard that can result in a turnover. They should also be more focused so that they can avoid various baseline inbound turnovers. 

Best Strategies On The Baseline

Aside from inbounding the ball, the baseline may also be used by basketball coaches for offensive and defensive strategies. Let me show you some strategies on the baseline. 

1. Force Baseline

This strategy is defensive and known by most players as a sixth defender strategy. Using this strategy will prevent the offensive from going inside the basket. It also forces the player who handles the ball to move down the sideline and towards the corner of the court.

The defender who guards the ball handler must cut off the baseline by getting there first and should maintain the right defensive balance. It will prevent the ball handler from getting between them and the line. The defensive team forms a wall around the offensive player making it more challenging to get in. 

For more information check out the video below:

2. Force Middle

This method is also a defensive strategy. The defensive team forces the offensive players to the middle of the court or the paint. This strategy will surround the offensive team and intercept any cut-off passes or block any shot attempt. The force middle strategy will be more effective if your team has a good shot blocker player.  

However, some counter-attack may happen if this defensive strategy is executed, especially if the defensive team did not guard the baseline well. Poor defense on the baseline may result in baseline cuts, backdoor cuts, and baseline screens, which will make it easier for the offensive team to score. 

3. Baseline Cut

This kind of offensive strategy is common in all basketball leagues. The use of this strategy is for the offensive team to get an easy layup, make the players on the three-point line open, or an easy floater. Take a look at some best baseline cut of the NBA below:

4. Backdoor Cut

A backdoor cut is also an offensive strategy. The player that will cut will fake his move in one direction towards the basket. If the backdoor cut is done right and executed in the baseline, it can leave the cutter wide open and can result in quick points. Take a look at some of the best backdoor cut in the NBA below:

5. Baseline Screen

This is a type of screen that will happen near the baseline, and it can also lead to easy points. One player will set a pick or screen near the baseline, and their teammate must run between the screen. After that, the defender of the screener will shift focus on the player who runs between the screen leaving the screener wide open. If this will be executed well, then it can be an easy bucket for the offensive team.

Final Thoughts

Yes, the baseline or the end line on a basketball court maybe just a boundary for other basketball players who don’t think strategically. The baseline is one of the best parts of a basketball court that can lead to easy points if the strategies used will be executed properly. 

These baseline strategies are the most difficult to counter-attack for the basketball coaches. However, some coaches are smart enough to prevent these kinds of offensive strategies. 

What NBA team has a great baseline play? Comment your answers in the comments section below!

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