How well do you know basketball lingo?

Michael Moraitis

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you a real basketball fan? Do you know what it means to take the rock and go to the hole? Find out if you can perform in crunch time with this basketball lingo quiz!

When an offensive player fakes out a defender with a dribble and makes that defender stumble or fall, it is said that the defender's ankles are what?

This is typically done with a crossover. Allen Iverson was a master at doing this, amongst other things.

What is another word for the basketball itself?

If you've ever played basketball, someone has inevitably told you to "pass the rock." Thankfully the basketball isn't actually like a rock, or it wouldn't be as fun to play.

Which is another word for the basketball hoop?

Peach baskets were used for hoops in the game's early days. While the first professional league was founded in 1898, peach baskets were still used until about 1905.

A team is said to be on what, when it scores consecutive, unanswered points?

Basketball is a game of runs, which is why contests can swing back and forth between two teams in the NBA. Teams that can finish games on a run will typically win that game.

What term is used to describe someone who makes a play that reminds people of Michael Jordan?

The "-esque" ending means "like," thus it's Jordan-like. Fadeaways and creative layups can be seen as Jordanesque.

What term is used to describe a shot that goes in but doesn't touch the rim on the way down?

The swish is such a beautiful thing to witness. Nothing is prettier than hitting nothing but the bottom of the net.

What is it when a player is fouled in the act of shooting, but makes the basket anyway?

This is one of the more widely used basketball lingo terms. A successful shoe and apparel company was even named after this term.

What is another way to say "drive to the basket"?

Going to the hole can often create easier points, whether it be shots close to the basket or long-range shots by unguarded players who are open, thanks to a drawn-in defense.

The offensive player a particular defender must guard is called what?

Usually teams will have each position guard its counterpart. However, sometimes better defenders are called upon to guard a specific player.

When a team builds its squad around one star player, what is the player called?

LeBron James, also known as "King James," is a perfect example of a franchise player. The most successful franchise players make the players around them better, also.

What is another way to say play defense?

When he isn't kicking people in the groin, Draymond Green can really D-up. Sadly the game has gone away from defense a bit in this day and age.

What is it called when a basket is made as the final buzzer sounds?

Buzzer beaters have been a source of both extreme joy and terrible sadness for basketball fans over the years. There is no more exciting way to win - or more devastating way to lose.

When a player is able to create space between himself and the defender in order to get a shot, it is said that the offensive player can do what?

Some of the greatest players ever to play the game had to be able to create their own shots. Think Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

What term is used when a defensive player appears to have successfully blocked a shot, but is called for a foul anyway?

Most players who are called for a foul on a block attempt will say "all ball." Of course, they're always right.

Which is a term used to describe the final minutes of a game when the score is close?

Reggie Miller made a career out of making big shots in crunch time. The term "Miller Time" was coined when Miller would take over and make big shots at the end of games.

Which term is used to describe a basket scored late in a game that helps secure a win?

As if losing wasn't enough, teams have to endure a big shot that helps close out a game. Steph Curry has delivered some daggers during his time in the NBA.

A player who can make long two-point shots and three-point baskets is called what?

From Larry Bird to Dirk Nowitzki, great shooters have been making longer shots look easy for years. Every team needs a deep threat to help space the floor.

What type of shot has a high arc and is taken on the run and somewhat close to the basket?

A "floater" can also be called a "teardrop." This shot is normally taken by a point guard or smaller player who is looking to avoid the reach of bigger defenders.

When an offensive player has his shot blocked, he has been what?

You can also say "rejected" or "denied" as other forms of "blocked." Some blocks can be downright embarrassing for an offensive player.

What is another term used to describe a successful pass that leads to an assist?

Legend has it "dropping a dime" comes from urban slang and is used for someone who "snitches" to the cops, with the ten cents being what it used to cost to make a pay phone call.

What is another word for the free-throw line?

Fouls and subsequent free throws will often lead to free points for one team, thus the charity reference. Unless, of course, you have Shaquille O'Neal or DeAndre Jordan shooting the free throws.

What is the intersection of the free-throw line and the lane line?

The elbow is a popular spot where players love to shoot from. Carmelo Anthony is an example of a player who likes to shoot from the elbow.

Which player is usually the toughest on the team, who uses his physical aggression to set the tone of the game?

An enforcer certainly doesn't specialize in scoring points, but his physical presence can throw opposing players off their game. His primary job is to be tough and get under people's skin.

What type of shot is it when a player's body is moving away from the basket during the act of shooting?

Michael Jordan made the fadeaway what it is today. During the '90s, kids all over the world tried to shoot it like Mike.

What is another word for a basketball player?

If you make a lot of money, you can also be considered a baller. The term is probably more appropriately used in the basketball context.

What term is used to describe a successful dunk that is made right in a defender's face?

"Posterize" and "facial" are truly classic terms. Announcer Marv Albert was the one who really brought "facial" to the NBA consciousness.

What type of player is especially good at shooting, passing and ball-handling?

You won't see a finesse player dunking over anyone, but these types of players can still make things happen in other ways. Every team needs finesse players.

When a player makes a three-pointer but is fouled as well, he has a chance at what?

By sinking the free throw, a player completes a four-point after being fouled while making a three-pointer. This type of play doesn't occur very often.

What is it called when a player dunks the ball with extra power?

There are several ways to describe a monster jam. Thanks to Shaq, we were also introduced to destroying the backboard and hoop.

What is a shot attempt that bounces off the backboard first?

Not many players use the bank shot anymore. A legend like Tim Duncan was great at hitting bank shots on a regular basis.

What is another way to say foul?

The most infamous use of the word hack to describe fouling was in the days of "Hack-a-Shaq." This occurred when teams would intentionally foul Shaquille O'Neal, a terrible free-throw shooter, rather than giving his team a normal offensive possession.

What is the name for the rectangular area in front of the basket that is usually colored in?

The NBA officially calls it the "free throw lane," but nobody ever calls it that. You'd be correct using any one of the terms listed above.

What is it called when a player scores close to the basket off his own offensive rebound?

It's one thing to grab an offensive rebound, but it's an entirely different thing for the rebounder to be able to put it back in. Usually under the hoop is crowded, so this type of shot is harder than it looks.

When a player positions himself near the lane with his back to the basket and a defender behind him, what is it called?

This is normally reserved for big men, however some smaller players specialize in posting-up. This style of play isn't as widely used as it was in the past.

What word is used when an offensive player has a distinct advantage in size and/or speed over a defender?

If a bigger, slower defender finds himself guarding a smaller, faster player on the perimeter, it is considered a mismatch. Setting picks is a great way to create mismatches.

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