This is a quick tips section for all aspects of playing basketball. We'll eventually have basketball tip sections that get far more specific. This is just quick stuff to remember.
Practice shots that you'd take in a game. Stand still, catch and shoot. Stand still, catch, dribble and shoot. Catch while on the move and shoot. Catch while on the move and fake or just go right into the dribble and then shoot. And, creating off of fakes (while a pivot foot is planted). Make sure you square up to the basket when shooting. Both feet should be pointing at the basket, and your body should square up to it. Make sure your power is coming from your legs, not your arms. Remember to follow-through on your shot. Practice like crazy. And be intense. Don't be lazy, work hard. If you half-heartedly practice getting shots off, they won't be very effective when a tough defender is near you in a real game.
Be alert. Fire quick passes that peole can handle. If someone cuts, and you fire a pass at them, make sure you're leading them to where they're running with the pass, so they don't have to slow down to catch it. After you pass, keep moving, so you're of some use in the play. If it makes sense, cut hard to the basket after you pass, in the hope that your teammate can fire a quick return pass that results in a layup because your defender relaxed for a second after you got rid of the ball. And when your teammates have the ball, create passing lanes, so they can
hit you with a pass. Use your hands to create targets. If you cut, have a hand up so the passer can hit it.
Dribble with your head up. If you have to look down while dribbling, it means you haven't practiced enough. Dribble all over town until you get used to it. Watch good point guards - they're looking forward and around while dribbling, not down. Get down low if you have to. but make sure you're seeing the floor while dribbling, or else unless you create something for yourself and score, you probably aren't helping the team. Learn to dribble with both hands. Obviously one hand will be stronger than the other, but make sure you can at least pull off basic moves with your weak hand (like driving and finishing a layup or passing with it). Watch good players and what they're actually doing with the ball and their bodies while they're dribbling the basketball.
You need to box out. Most players don't know how, or just don't do it. If the shot goes up and you don't box out, the other team has just a good a chance of grabbing the board as you do. Boxing out is absolutely essential when you're on defense, or else you're going to give up lots of offensive boards. Great rebounders always box out. You should know where your opponents are while playing defense, and when a shot goes up you should instinctively face the basket while boxing the closest opponent out. Boxing out also makes it easier for your teammates to grab the rebound in case you can't. It always helps.