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Positions of Basketball

Yet another page, on the positions of basketball. Basketball is broken down into five different positions. Over the years, some innovative offenses have changed to include more guards for a quicker and faster lineup, while other offenses have expanded to use more forwards to create a bigger and stronger lineup.

Still the most common basketball lineup, with five players on the floor, includes the positions below which are of course known as the five positions of basketball.

Point Guard: The point guard (PG) has a lot of responsibility on the court. The point guard is often compared to the quarterback on the football field. The comparison makes a lot of sense. Generally your point guard will handle the ball more than anyone else on the court and is responsible for calling offense sets and leading the team.

Point guards are usually small, although players like Magic Johnson and Lebron James have changed the stereotype of point guards always being less than six foot three.

Guards must possess excellent ball handling skills as they will dribble the ball up the court, handle defensive pressure, and set up offensive plays. Point guards usually also shoot the ball well from long range, can drive and penetrate opposing defenses, as well as dish the ball to an open teammate.

Shooting Guard: While the position isn’t what it always was, shooting guards (SG) still are generally one of the best shooters on the team and often lead the team in scoring. Shooting guards range in height from six foot to six foot nine on average. The NBA shooting guard position has evolved into a bigger position, where it’s common to see guards over six foot five.

While most shooting guards are excellent long to mid range shooters, other guards have came around that are more well known as “slashers.” Slashing shooting guards are at the best when they attack the rim with the ball. They are strong, can finish in traffic, or draw a defensive foul.

Some shooting guards also make a team because they are excellent defenders and can guard anyone on the floor.

Small Forward: Small forwards (SF) range in height from six foot four to six feet eleven. Small forwards are usually great scorers and have the versatility to shoot from the outside or drive to the hole. Other small forwards make a team because they specialize in defense or rebounding.

On any given night, usually the starting small forward will have the best-rounded stat line.

Power Forward: Power forwards (PF) derive from their name, although now it’s much more common to see a power forward that can also shoot from outside. Kevin Garnett brought a revolution to the position because he could not only dominate inside but also shoot from the outside.

Power forwards can range from players who bang inside and score the majority of their points around the basketball, to outside shooters, to defensive or rebounding specialists. Power forwards generally range from six foot seven to seven feet tall.

Center: Centers (C) are no longer as good or predominant as they once were. When basketball first started out, centers like Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlin dominated the game offensively. Today, basketball has transformed into a much more guard orientated game thanks to the three second rule and invention of the three point line.

Still, centers like Shaq and Dwight Howard dominant the game from the inside.

Centers earn the majority of their points from inside the paint. They are usually the team’s top rebounder and last resort to stop a driving offensive player. A lot of the league leaders in blocks every year are centers.

The point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center all compromise the five positions of basketball.

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