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Basketball Glossary P-Q

Basketball Terms P

Paint: See lane.

Palming: See carrying the ball.

Pass fake: See ball fake.

Passing lane: An imaginary line from the player with the ball to a teammate. If a defender is in the way, the passing lane is closed.

Personal foul: A penalty assessed on a player who commits an illegal action.

Pick: See screen.

Pick-and-roll: A two-person play in which on offensive player sets a screen (pick) on the ball handler’s defender and cuts (rolls) to the basket after the ball handler drives by the screen. Also called a “screen and roll.” A common play in college and the pros.

Pistol stance: When a help-side defender is guarding their man, they point one hand at their man and one hand at the ball (as if they’re holding a pistol).

Pivot: The action when the player with the ball spins on one foot and steps with their other foot to protect the ball from a defender.

Pivot foot: The foot that the offensive player spins on while pivoting.

Player-control foul: A nonshooting offensive foul.

Player screen: See off-ball screen.

Player-to-player defense: See man-to-man defense.

Point guard: (1) A position played by a team’s primary ball handler, the player who brings the ball up the court and begins the offense. Also called the “1.” (2) The player who plays that position.

Popout cut: A cut taken around a screen straight to the ball.

Post: (1) A player who plays in and around the lane area. A center or forward (a “4” or a “5”). (2) An area of the court, as in the low post or the high post.

Post moves: Back-to-the-basket scoring moves made by players near the basket.

Post-up: (1) An offensive move in which an offensive player (usually a forward or a center) positions themself close to the basket with their back toward the basket and the defender behind them so the offensive player can receive a pass. (2) To make that move.

Power forward: A position played by the larger of the forwards on the floor, usually a good scorer and rebounder. Also called the “4.” (2) The player who plays that position.

Power layup: A two-footed layup.

Press: (1) See full-court press. (2) To engage in a full-court press.

Press break: A team offense used against a press defense. Also called “press offense.”

Press offense: See press break.

Pressure man-to-man defense: An aggressive defense where the defenders stay between their man and the ball.

Primary break: A fast break that involves only a few players from each team.

Pump fake: See shot fake.

Push pass: A one-handed air pass.

Basketball Glossary P-Q:
Basketball Terms Q

Quicks: A slang term used to describe how quick a player is, as in “Rich has average quicks.”