Footwork is one of the most important parts of the offensive and defensive sides of basketball and having good footwork can shift a good player into a great player. Being quick and having quick footwork along with being able to stop and start easily and fluidly allows a player an edge over his/her opponent. The ability to quickly stop especially on the offensive side of the ball will make a player have more scoring opportunities than the average player because they are able to create more space than normal.
The two main types of quick stops in basketball are jump stops and running stops. A jump stop usually involves two feet and moves quickly through a lot of space towards the basket to try and score. A running stop is used more often to change direction and create some space to pass or shoot. The combination of both of these types of stops can be very effective in creating space for good scoring chances.
From a standstill pivoting position, the offense can use quick footwork to move past their defender pivoting and stepping through or blowing by using good technique to execute a solid drive. The ability to change direction from a standstill is especially important when the defense is closing out because the offensive player can get by the defender much more easily as opposed to if they do not have good footwork.
Footwork is just as important on defense as it is on offense. Keeping an offensive ball handler in front is a combination of athleticism but also good footwork. The best defenders have the best footwork no matter how fast or quick they are, by using space well they can stay in front of most offensive players just using their feet. Defenders who can quickly stop too while closing out an stifle an offense from scoring as they eliminate scoring options in a situation where the defense is already recovering which is very important to playing sound defense, good recovery.