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Why do teams foul so much in the last two minutes of a basketball game?

You’ve probably noticed that near the end of a game, the team that’s losing (especially if they’re only losing by a few points) will start fouling the other team. They do this to try and gain back possession rather than waste precious seconds. After foul shots, the defending team is more likely to get the rebound on a miss as they have more players in the key (4 players vs 3). Even if the foul shot is made, the defending team gets to inbound from their own baseline. After all, it’s hard to score baskets if the other team has the ball!

What is the deal with time outs — are they strategic?

Time outs are v. strategic and are normally called when:

1) Your team can’t get their sh!t together and the coach needs to settle everyone down (e.g., your opponent scores five ‘unanswered’ buckets without your team getting a single one).

2) There’s a major opportunity to tie the game or pull ahead. The coach will normally call a time out so that they can draw up a play that will lead to a basket.

3) When the coach wants to slow the game down and give your squad a little break. Don’t forget to hydrate!

Fun fact to share on draft day

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets 13th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft. Immediately after being drafted, Charlotte traded Kobe to the Lakers in exchange for Vlade Divac, a trade that would change the course of the NBA and the game of basketball itself. What’s basketball history without Kobe in a Lakers jersey, anyway?

Written by Holly Westgate, edited for length
GIST Guest Writer and Basketball Guru