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Offensive Positions and Responsibilites

by Coach Power

Point guard

The most important position on the court for your offense. The player must be unselfish and willing to pass to teammates. The best dribbler is a given. Make sure the player can go to both sides of the basket in the same manner. Plays will not run smoothly if the player has a "strong" hand. Both hands should be equal in skill. The point guard must also be a good shooter. If the point guard is not a threat offensively teams will not defend the player once the pass has been made.

Shooting guard

This position requires an agile player and undoubtedly your best perimeter shooter. The player does not necessarilly have to be a great ball handler but should be able to "put it on the floor" if necessary. The player should be able to "catch and shoot."

Small forward

This position requires a player with a different mentality. This player is probably as important as the point guard. Most of today's offenses require the "three" man to play unselfishly and mentally aware. Many simple offenses are from this position and require the player to run off screens without the ball. Other offenses require the player to put the ball on the floor from the perimeter and know when to pass or shoot. Do not sell your player short on this position. There is a reason that Scottie Pippen became such a valuable commodity to Michael Jordan during the Bull's championship seasons. The other name for this position is sometimes referred to as "point forward."

Power forward

This position is where my opinion comes into play. This position should be where you place your best offensive rebounder. Okay, yell at me now. I don't care how big or small this player is, if you have a player that get offensive rebounds put the player at this spot. The player will end up at the position anyway. Yes, it is true the player should be able to post up and shoot either facing or backing an opponent down. However, unless you are Karl Malone, this is going to sound terrible, think of Dennis Rodman. How many times was he responsible for getting offensive rebounds for the Bulls? Don't think of his attitude, think of how he played the position. Trust me, put your best offensive rebounder here.


Now, the fun position. If you do not have a dominant "big" player, think of your best jumper and defender against the opposing team's center. It will make a difference if your team is "small" in height when playing against a team that is unusually tall. However, if you place a great defender against the opposing team's center you can slow them down. How many times did Shaquille O'neal score a ton of points and the Lakers lose? This is a point worth noting. Offensively, the player should be able to post up similarly to the power forward but deciding the style of offense will help determine where to place each player.

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