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Lacrosse Meets Basketball: How the NLL Mirrors the NBA

Exploring the Intriguing Parallels Between Lacrosse and Basketball

The worlds of lacrosse and basketball might seem distinct at first glance, but they share remarkable similarities in their gameplay and strategies. The National Lacrosse League (NLL) has often been described as a sport that “looks like the NHL and plays like the NBA,” and this comparison holds true in many ways.

A Hockey-like Structure

The similarities to ice hockey are evident. Both sports feature five field players and a goalie, identical playing surface dimensions, and the presence of boards and glass. They also share elements such as the penalty box, power plays, penalty kills, player substitutions on the fly, and sudden death overtime.

Basketball-like Dynamics

However, the NLL’s gameplay also mirrors basketball, primarily due to the 30-second shot clock and the 8-second midfield marker. The shot clock ensures a high-scoring game with rapid shots on goal, much like the fast-paced action of an NBA game. Set plays, pick-and-roll sequences, screens, post-ups, and even lacrosse’s version of a dunk all contribute to this resemblance.

Parallel Play Styles

Stephen Curry and Josh Byrne: Masters of the Screen

When handling the ball far from the goal, Stephen Curry and Josh Byrne use screens (or the threat thereof) to create space for long-distance shots. These tactics have earned them six league championships and three MVP awards combined, showcasing their mastery of this approach.

LeBron James and Dhane Smith: Power and Precision

LeBron James and Dhane Smith excel through their physicality and ability to create offensive opportunities. Both players aggressively drive to the net, often overpowering defenders or setting up open shots due to the constant threat of their drives.

Luka Doncic and Jeff Teat: Creative Scorers

Luka Doncic and Jeff Teat are young stars known for their creative scoring. They can get a shot off from any position, regardless of surrounding traffic, continuously populating the stat sheet with dazzling scoring plays from unexpected angles.

Nikola Jokic and Zed Williams: Post Play and Trickery

Nikola Jokic and Zed Williams, both playing in Colorado, are big men with a versatile array of moves in the post. They are known for their trick passes and scoring, such as Jokic’s no-look passes and Williams’ behind-the-back goals.

Legendary Comparisons: Michael Jordan and John Tavares

Looking back, the comparison between Michael Jordan and John Tavares is compelling. Both are considered the greatest in their sports, combining tenacity, leadership, and exceptional skill to achieve ten championships and eight MVP awards collectively. Jordan’s famous shots and Tavares’ gameplay highlight their uncanny similarities in achieving greatness.


The information presented in this article is based on the available data and current events around the time of publication, to the best of our staff research and knowledge. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice, financial advice, sports betting advice, or life advice. It is simply our best guess, something to add to your research. We at Las Vegas Top Picks do our best to get stories accurate, but sometimes mistakes and biases happen, and it is always good to double-check other sources and media outlets to confirm stories and factual details. The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the overall opinion of Las Vegas Top Picks.

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