Although teams today have many variations of team setups and unique player types, this article will revolve around the traditional 5 positions that every player can be classified as to give an overview and insight into your position in the team.

By knowing your position in the team, you’ll be better able to support your team to victory!

Point Guard/ Pos 1

The point guard is usually the shortest player on the team but one with great ball-handling skills and basketball IQ.

This is because such players are usually associated with dribbling the ball up the court and making sure the offense operates by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of various teammates. It is due to these tasks that a point guard is often referred to as a floor general or on-court coach. On the defensive end, such players are responsible for guarding the other team’s point guard and are crucial when trying to analyze, dodge, and negate the offensive strategy of the other team. For this to be successful, it is important that the point guard is good at communication and listened to by the rest of the team.

Shooting Guard/ Pos 2

The shooting guard is a position that is interchangeable with the point guard as they have similar roles.

However, unlike how point guards focus more on ball handling and setting the offense, shooting guards specialize in being able to score from anywhere on the court. Due to this, many of the offensive plays are centered around the shooting guard. This position is, however, more focused on the offensive end and usually plays defense on the weakest player of a team, depending on the size of the player. They can also assist the point guard in bringing up the ball in case the point guard is heavily guarded.

  • Small Forward

The small forward is the most all-rounded player in the team, including offense and defense.

This is because they have the height and built only slightly smaller than that of the power forward and center, but the shooting ability, ball handling, and basketball IQ of the guards. Such players usually play near the baseline 3 pointer corner as it allows for a shot and also has isolation for the small forward to drive. Such players usually guard the best player of the opposing team as they have the length to block shots, physique to push outpost player, and the speed and agility of guards.

  • Power Forward

The power forward is commonly the second tallest player in the team who plays around the free-throw line and elbows of the paint.

This player is most responsible for setting screens to make offensive plays work. As power forwards play such an important role in the offense, the players must also have a good mid-range shot to score the ball if the ball is dished to him after a screen. This remains the primary means of scoring for power forwards but they can also post up and finish underboard as they have a build similar to that of centers. Also, this player is usually the one to inbound the ball to allow the more dominant scorers of the team to move forward. On the defensive end, such players are responsible for defensive switching after screens and attempting to block midrange shots that the center cannot reach.

  • Centre

The centre is the tallest and heaviest player in the team that plays underboard near the basket.

Centres dominate the paint with their weight and force, using their height and jump as an advantage to put the ball in the basket above smaller players. Such players also set screens near the baseline to give space to the shooting guards or small forwards. Although traditional centres could not shoot with high accuracy, today’s centres are expected to have a midrange shot and even a three point shot to stretch the floor. Such centres are known as Stretch 5’s.


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