Inside game ball transitions according to player’s specific positions in NBA basketball

J. Courel-Ibáñez, E. Suárez-Cadenas, D. Cárdenas-Vélez


The purposes of this study were to identify players’ relationships and detecting ball transitions patterns according to their specic position when using inside pass, in the National Basketball Association (NBA) competition. In total, 808 inside passes (ball possession score dierences below 10 points) from 25 matches (NBA Playos, 2011) were analysed through systematic observation. A decision tree analysis (Chi-Squared Automatic Interaction Detection) was used to identify ball transitions patterns regarding specific players’ position (roots) and passer-receiver interactions (predictors). We detected strong pass and reception sequences of movements according to players’ specific position, especially when including interactions between perimeter and post players. Game conditions such as reception zone, pass distance, reception attitude, and defensive helps were also inuenced by players’ position. Current results point out the outside-inside coordination as an essential key to success in the NBA. It is recommended developing game dynamics focused in taking advantage of the high and low-post positions, as well as performing supporting actions in the weak side to enhance inside pass options. ese ndings may have implications in basketball training and competition process, contributing in a better understanding of collective strategies which leads to an accurate designing of practices task focused on increasing inside game options and players’ decision-making according to specific competition constraints. 

Palabras clave

team sports; sequential analysis; performance; tactics

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Sociedad Iberoamericana de Psicología del Deporte (SIPD) División de Psicología de la Actividad Física y el Deporte (PACFD)Sociedad Iberoamericana de Psicología del Deporte