In your basketball career, you will undoubtedly be a part of a few blowout games on one side or the other.
We hope that you will always be on the winning side, but that will likely not be the case. Sometimes you will be on a team that is heavily outmatched; maybe things just were not clicking for you at all.
Being down by so many points can be disheartening. No one wants to lose so badly in front of their fans and peers. The desire to not let this happen though is an important piece of competitive spirit. We are not saying that avoiding getting blown out should be top-of-mind entering a game, but if it starts looking that way, then it should probably click.
"Blown out" sounds a little subjective. It could mean different things to players at each level of the game. For the NBA it may mean 20 to 25-plus points or so. For NCAA, more like 15 to 20-plus, since the game is slower-paced. High school ball is played at many different levels, but that 15-20 range likely is not too far off depending on how early it happens.
What to do if your team is getting blown out
If you find yourself in this situation, there is no need to panic OR hang your head. Large deficits happen frequently, and occasionally, they are overcome. Check an example by the OKC Thunder earlier in the NBA Playoffs. The Thunder were down 25 in the third quarter.
The number one thing that you can do for your team in these situation is to continue playing hard. The fans will see it, the coach will see it, and your teammates will see it. Set an example for the rest of your team by playing through and attempting to come back.
Who knows, you may just pull an upset. Wins like that are often the most memorable, so do not pass up such an opportunity.
What if you are the team that is applying the beatdown?
Basketball is at its best when played between two evenly matched teams that take the contest down to the wire. It is more entertaining and more fun (though comebacks are pretty great).
When you are doing the thumping, how to proceed is usually dictated by the coach. Are the teams so mismatched that you could pour it on at will? Is the other team a threat to come back and needs to be kept a arm's length?
Continuing to play hard in a blowout is not a bad thing, but it is a better opportunity to play right. If you are up by so much that it ceases to be fun for either team, it is a great time to focus on fundamentals and run through your playbook in a game-time situation for excellent practice. Never pass up an opportunity to improve.