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Basketball positions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basketball positions with the numbers as they are known:1–Point guard2–Shooting guard3– Small forward4–Power forward5–Center
Basketball positions with the numbers as they are known:
  • 1–Point guard
  • 2–Shooting guard
  • 3– Small forward
  • 4–Power forward
  • 5–Center

In the sport of basketball, there are generally five players per team, each assigned to positions. Historically, these players have been assigned to positions defined by the role they play on the court, from a strategic point of view. Broadly speaking, the three main positions are guard, forward, and center, with the standard team featuring two guards, two forwards, and a center. Over time, as more specialized roles developed, each of the guards and forwards came to be differentiated, and today each of the five positions are known by unique names, each of which has also been assigned a number: point guard (PG) or 1, the shooting guard (SG) or 2, the small forward (SF) or 3, the power forward (PF) or 4, and the center (C) or 5.

The point guard is the "leader" of the team on the court. This position requires substantial ball-handling skills and the ability to facilitate the team during a play. The shooting guard, as the name implies, is often the best shooter, as well as being capable of shooting accurately from longer distances. The small forward often has an aggressive approach to the basket when handling the ball. The small forward is also known to make cuts to the basket in efforts to get open for shots. The power forward and the center make up the frontcourt, often acting as their team's primary rebounders or shot blockers, or receiving passes to take inside shots. The center is typically the larger of the two.

Besides the five basic positions, some teams use non-standard or hybrid positions, such as the point forward, a hybrid small forward/point guard; the swingman, a hybrid small forward/shooting guard; the big, a hybrid power forward/center; and the stretch four, a power forward with the shooting range of typical shooting guards.

In the early days of the sport, there was a "running guard" who brought the ball up the court and passed or attacked the basket, like a point or combo guard. There was also a "stationary guard" who made long shots and hung back on defense before there was the rule of backcourt violations.[1]

Guards

Point guard

The point guard (PG),[2] also known as the one, is typically the team's shortest player and best ball handler and passer. They usually are very fast and are good at driving and short-range. Therefore, they often lead their team in assists and are able to create shots for themselves and their teammates. They are quick and able to hit shots outside the key but a majority are inside the 3 point line or layups, largely depending on the player's skill level. Point guards are looked upon as the "floor general" or the "coach on the floor, and the heart of the team ." They should study the game and game film to be able to recognize the weaknesses of the defense, and the strengths of their own offense. They are responsible for directing plays, making the position equivalent to that of quarterback in American football, playmaker in Association football (soccer), center in ice hockey, or setter in volleyball. Good point guards increase team efficiency and generally have a high number of assists. They are often referred to as dribblers or play-makers. In the NBA, point guards are mostly between 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) and 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m).[3]

[4] Point guards are required to do many things in the game of basketball that are very different from the other four positions on the court. While the other 4 positions are mainly focused on putting the ball in the hoop, the point guard must have a different, more team focused mentality.[5] There are usually two types of point guards : a scoring point guard (also known as a lead guard) and a facilitator-type point guard. A scoring point guard regularly has the ability to shoot from three-point or mid-range distance. This type of point guard could also score around the basket with floaters, acrobatic layups, and/or dunks. Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry are two examples of a scoring point guard. A facilitator-type point guard often has a high basketball IQ and can see plays happening before they occur. In addition, these types of point guards are typically masters of the half court set offense, and they typically know the correct spots for each player on the court. Another name for this type of player could be ‘Coach on the Floor’. Chris Paul is an example of a facilitator-type point guard.[6]

Shooting guard

The shooting guard (SG)—also known as the two or the off guard—along with the small forward, is often referred to as a wing because of its use in common positioning tactics. As the name suggests, most shooting guards are prolific from the three-point range and long mid range. A key aspect of being a shooting guard is having the ability to patiently and methodically circulate the three point line linear with that of the ball. This allows the ability to correctly get into open space for other positions handling the ball. Just like all positions in basketball, the ability to communicate efficiently with teammates is key. If teammates do not know when/where a player will be open, they won't be able to deliver the ball when an opportunity presents itself.

Throughout the evolution of the game, there have been different types of shooting guards. Mainly categorized as offensive threats and defensive guards. If the shooting guard focuses more on taking perimeter jump shots, especially three-pointers, by the use of basketball screens such as down screens, and without much dribbling involved, then the shooting guard is typically known as a catch-and-shoot type of player. JJ Redick, would fit this type of play style. If the shooting guard emphasizes driving into the lane and scoring at (or around) the basket, then the shooting guard is generally referred to as a slasher type of player. Dwyane Wade was well known for his ability to slash into the lane and score around the rim. However, he also took his fair share of mid-range jump shots and three-pointers.[7] These are known as offensive threats.

If the shooting guard’s main priority is to limit or prevent the opposing team’s star player (which is usually another shooting guard or other perimeter player), then the shooting guard could be known as a defensive specialist. Tony Allen, would be considered a defensive specialist. Shooting guards with the ability to shoot from the perimeter while limiting the scoring opportunities of the other team’s best perimeter player, can be referred to as 3-and-D type of players. Danny Green, is an example of a 3-and-D type of shooting guard.[8] These are known as defensive guards.

Forwards

Small forward

The small forward (SF), also known as the three, is considered to be the most versatile of the main five basketball positions. Versatility is key for small forwards due to the nature of their role, which resembles that of a shooting guard more often than that of a small forward. This is why the small forward and shooting guard positions are often used interchangeably and referred to as wings.

Small forwards have a variety of assets, such as quickness and strength inside. A common thread among small forwards is an ability to "get to the line" and draw fouls by aggressively attempting (posting-up) plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks. As such, accurate foul shooting is also a common skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line. Besides being able to drive to the basket, they are also good shooters from long range. They are the second-best 3-point shooters on the court along with the shooting guard and usually when remaining stationary, they linger just inside the 3-point line. Some small forwards have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities as point forwards. Small forwards should be able to do a little bit of everything on the court, typically playing roles such as swing men and defensive specialists. A small forward under 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) might play the shooting guard position some of the time while a small forward taller than 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) might play power forward some of the time. In the NBA, small forwards usually range from 6 feet 4 inches (1.92 m) to 6 feet 9 inches (2.04 m).[9]

Power forward

The power forward (PF), also known as the four, often plays a role similar to that of the center, down in the "post" or "low blocks". The power forward is often the team's most powerful and dependable scorer, being able to score close to the basket while also being able to shoot mid-range jump shots from 10 – 15 feet from the basket. Power forwards are also very crafty and have to be versatile on both offense and defense but not as much as a small forward. Some power forwards have become known as stretch fours, since extending their shooting range to three-pointers. On defense, they are required to have the strength to guard bigger players close to the basket and to have the athleticism to guard quick players away from the basket. Most power forwards tend to be more versatile than centers since they can be part of plays and are not always in the low block. A tall power forward over 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m) can be a forward-center, playing PF and C. A smaller power forward, approximately 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m), can play combo forward, playing SF part-time. In the NBA, power forwards usually range from 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) to 7 feet 0 inches (2.13 m).[10]

The power forward is essentially a bigger and stronger version of the small forward but not generally as tall and/or as long as the center. Generally speaking, the power forward is usually good at rebounding and in some instances, a power forward with a high basketball IQ could also be a great passer, particularly from the high or low post areas via post split action. Anthony Davis is a notable example of a power forward.[11] Instead of a physical power forward, the stretch four is known primarily for shooting three pointers and midrange jumpshots instead of post play. The stretch four could also be very useful as a pick and pop screener, especially against the drop coverage defensive technique. For example, if the stretch four pops to the perimeter after setting a screen, then their defender will most likely not have enough time to closeout and contest the potential open jump shot if the defender executes drop coverage. [12]

Center

The center (C)—also known as the five, the pivot or the big man—usually plays near the baseline or close to the basket (the "low post"). They are usually the tallest players on the floor. Centers usually score "down low", or "in the paint" (near the basket, in the key), but there have been many centers who are good perimeter shooters as well. They're typically skilled at pulling down rebounds, contesting shots and setting screens on players.

The range of players used in the position has transitioned from relatively slower but much taller "back to the basket" players to players who could also be classified as power forwards but who can dominate opponents with their defensive skills, or mismatch ability to shoot from the high post. This has been due to the scarcity of players possessing the combination of great skill, ideal height, and durability. The development of more fast-paced and athletic basketball play, which calls for less traditional center play and a more up-and-down-the-court play style has also contributed to the shift over time. In the NBA, they're usually over 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) tall.[13]

The presence of a center who can score in the low post (the area closest to the basket) helps create balance within an offense. If it becomes too easy to score from the low post, the center will get double teamed. This creates opportunity for open shots for perimeter players as the center will “kick it out” to an open perimeter or “wing” player. As perimeter players shoot better from long range, this creates easier opportunity for a center to score, since defenses will play out closer to the perimeter shooters.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Robert Peterson (2002). Cages to Jump Shots: Pro Basketball's Early Years. U o6e6ef Nebraska Press. pp. 84–. ISBN 0-8032-8772-0.
  2. ^ ^ a b Rose, Lee H. (2016). The Basketball Handbook. Point guards pass the ball on offence and then head down the floor to set up and start the play. On defense, they guard the other point guard or one of the wings. Once they receive the ball they sprint towards the basket if it is open. If not open they stand back and wait till all of their team's layers are down the floor and pass the ball. If open for a shot they will shoot to score a few points depending on where they are standing. Human Kinetics.
  3. ^ "Average Measurements for NBA Point Guards, 2016". Fansided. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  4. ^ "Average Measurements for NBA Point Guards". BasketballScan. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  5. ^ "The 8 Must-Have Requirements of Every Point Guard". www.basketballforcoaches.com.
  6. ^ "Basketball Positions : Simple Explanation of Basic Concepts". Hoop Student. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  7. ^ "Basketball Positions : Simple Explanation of Basic Concepts". Hoop Student. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  8. ^ "Basketball Positions : Simple Explanation of Basic Concepts". Hoop Student. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  9. ^ "Average Measurements for NBA Small Forwards, 2016". Fansided. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  10. ^ "Average Measurements for NBA Power Forwards, 2016". Fansided. Archived from the original on 2019-02-19. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  11. ^ "Basketball Positions : Simple Explanation of Basic Concepts". Hoop Student. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  12. ^ "Basketball Positions : Simple Explanation of Basic Concepts". Hoop Student. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  13. ^ "Average Measurements for NBA Centers, 2016". Fansided. Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  14. ^ "What is the importance of the center position in basketball?".

External links

This page was last edited on 14 May 2022, at 06:50
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