What Is A Floater In Basketball?

Are you curious to know what is a floater in basketball? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a floater in basketball in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a floater in basketball?

Basketball is a sport of versatility and strategy. To excel on the court, players need a diverse range of skills, from dribbling and passing to shooting and defense. Among the many shooting techniques, one that stands out for its finesse and precision is the floater. In this blog post, we will delve into what a floater is, its significance in the game of basketball, and how it’s used by players to score.

What Is A Floater In Basketball?

A floater in basketball is a type of shot taken from close to the basket, typically in the paint or key area, where the player softly releases the ball with a high, arching trajectory. The shot is designed to sail over the outstretched arms of taller defenders and gently “float” into the basket. It is often employed when a player is too far from the basket for a layup but too close for a standard jump shot.

Key Features Of A Floater:

  1. Soft Touch: The primary characteristic of a floater is its soft touch. Instead of attempting a forceful, direct shot at the basket, the player releases the ball gently, allowing it to float over defenders.
  2. High Arc: The shot is executed with a high, arcing trajectory. This trajectory is crucial in bypassing shot-blocking attempts from taller defenders.
  3. Quick Release: A floater is typically a quick shot, executed in one fluid motion, often while the player is in mid-air. This quick release adds an element of surprise for defenders.

Why Floaters Matter In Basketball?

  1. Versatility: The floater is a versatile shot that can be used by players of all positions, from point guards to centers. It allows players to score when the defense prevents them from driving all the way to the rim.
  2. Evasion of Shot Blockers: In basketball, shot-blocking is a common defensive strategy, especially near the basket. The floater’s high arcing trajectory makes it challenging for shot-blockers to reach the ball.
  3. Mid-Range Scoring: In today’s game, where the three-point shot is emphasized, floaters provide an effective scoring option in the mid-range area, offering an alternative to long-range shooting.
  4. Close-Range Precision: Floaters are highly accurate at close range. They enable players to score in situations where layups may be challenging due to the presence of defenders.
  5. Changing the Defensive Landscape: When players establish themselves as a threat with the floater, defenders must adapt their approach. This can open up opportunities for passing or offensive rebounding.

Notable Players Known For Their Floaters

Several basketball players are renowned for their exceptional floater skills. Some of them include:

  1. Tony Parker: The former San Antonio Spurs point guard was famous for his teardrop floater, which was nearly impossible to defend due to its quick release and high arc.
  2. Stephen Curry: Known for his three-point shooting, Curry also employs a graceful floater as part of his scoring repertoire.
  3. Chris Paul: The Phoenix Suns point guard is a master of the floater, consistently using it to score over taller defenders.


The floater is a graceful and strategic shot that adds a layer of finesse to the game of basketball. It allows players to score with precision, even in the presence of shot-blocking defenders. While it might not receive as much attention as thunderous dunks or long-range three-pointers, the floater is an essential tool in a player’s arsenal, and its effectiveness is celebrated by basketball aficionados who appreciate the artistry of the game.

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What Does Floaters Mean In Basketball?

“Floater”, another name for a “teardrop” or “runner” in basketball, in which a smaller offensive player performs a high arcing shot over the reach of taller defenders in the lane.

What Is The Difference Between A Floater And A Normal Shot?

A “Floater” is the ability to extend the elbow WITHOUT flicking the wrist during the release. A “Runner” is the ability to extend the elbow WHILE flicking the wrist on the release. When you can truly understand and identify the differences between finishes, you can become a finishing master at the basket!!

What’s The Difference Between Teardrop And Floater?

Floater:- Not necessary to be in transition but a player releases the ball way up than the necessary height to make a layup then it’s called a FLOATER. Tear Drop:- This shot is kindly similar to floater but inspite of height of the player releases a layup right on the rim then it’s called TEAR DROP.

Why Are They Called Floaters?

Floaters look like small specks, dots, circles, lines or cobwebs in your field of vision. While they seem to be in front of your eye, they are floating inside. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous that fills your eye.

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