The elbow in basketball is an area on the court located where the free throw line and the corners of the paint meet. The elbow is present on every basketball court and at every level. It forms a 90 degree angle looking similar to a bent elbow, hence the name. This is a critical area on the basketball court as players at this point have penetrated the defense and are within shooting range.
The elbow is a common area where shots like pull up jump shots or floaters are taken by players. Coaches will utilize many shooting drills including continuous shooting from elbow to elbow, pull up jump shots off the dribble, or passing from the elbow. The elbow is also a useful point of reference for coaches using plays and communicating with their players.
PRO TIP: In basketball, the elbow almost always represents this area on the court. However, it can also describe a specific type of foul.