How many photos do you need from a game or event depends on what they will be used for. I deliver anywhere from 3-100 photos depending on the event. When you are trying to get a large quantity its harder to be riskier with your photos. One reason I like news assignments is that it allows me to be risky and wait for a moment to happen.
The best time to be risky is when you already have the safe shots. Starting out get the safe shots you need and then look for different ways to be creative. You should also make sure you won't miss a game winning basket or something else as significant. I like to use the third quarter/right after halftime as a time to experiment. There aren't late game heroics going on and you tend to have plenty of safe shots.
I often lay down on the ground or floor to take photos during a game. You definitely get a lower percentage of keepers, but a more impressive image overall. Try using slow shutter speeds, lay on the ground, hold the camera up above your head, focus on an individual and wait for the play to happen. When being risky don't follow the action, try to anticipate whats going to happen next and have you camera there. If a player is on first base then point the camera at second base waiting for the steal or double play ball. Find a great background or frame and wait for the action to come to you. Once you become ok with missing a few photos you can be liberated to try new things and improve your the shots you do get.