What is ISO in Basketball: A Format that has become a tactic in Basketball


Basketball is a team sport, yet there are times when players face off against one another, scoring shot after basket as the rest of the team watches.

What in basketball is an ISO? ISO stands for isolation in basketball. At this point, a player will face up against a rival teammate in an effort to score. The best player on the squad typically receives the go-ahead from the coach while taking advantage of the defensive disparity. In today’s game, isolation, which was once frowned upon, is now normal. In fact, one-on-one plays form the foundation of many offensives.

Players like Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, or even artists from the And1 mixtape from the late 1990s and early 2000s may come to mind when you think about ISOs. Let’s examine the development of the “ISO.”

Rules of ISO

Basketball ISOs are not always planned; there are several things to take into account. But in general, isolations occur when two players are a mismatch, such as a guard playing against a center, when one player is hot or on fire, or even when a defender is accruing fouls.

There are instances in which a team’s offense will use isolations to boost the possibilities of scoring by taking advantage of the defensive weakness.

On Fire

If a player is hot and has just made his past two baskets, it would be a good idea to give them the ball again so they can try to score. This is what athletes refer to as a heat check. The hot hand will shoot and feel as if they are shoving into the ocean, which may lead to a solitary try to score another basket.


A player may frequently find themselves in a mismatch situation, such as a guard facing off against a post or a center at the top of the three-point line. The mismatch may be the faster opponent.

The guard will have an open jump shot if the center plays off him and provides him space. The guard will blow past the Centre if he plays close to him. This mismatch can occur when the guard’s Centre teammate also sets the screen and searches for the pick-and-roll. In certain circumstances, players on defense are simply swapping checks, which causes this mismatch.

Last shot

Another occasion when we might encounter isolation while playing or watching basketball is a last-second shot at the end of a quarter. When that occurs, a player will hold still at the top of the key with 6 to 10 seconds left before acting. If his man is properly covered, the player can find his teammate in the corner for an open jump shot by beating him to the basket.

The NBA frequently uses ISO basketball, particularly since the step-back jump shot was created. If the player has perfected this technique, it is relatively simple to create the space required to get the shot off while making it tough for the defender to contest the shot and play any form of defense.

The greatest basketball players on the team will most likely obtain the go-ahead from their coach to attempt to score. When a player simply attempts to score during normal play, it isn’t always an ISO attempt. To make the space necessary for the shot they are trying, a player will occasionally use a series of one-on-one maneuvers.

Noah Davis
Former Collegiate Basketball Player Currently working as a sports writer sports enthusiast and Basketball lover

Miles Bridges of the Charlotte Hornets is accused of domestic violence and child abuse.

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