Positions in basketball

Basketball is a team sport in which all players must communicate with one another. Every position in basketball is distinct from the others and requires a unique set of skills. So, what are the five basketball positions and what do they do?

posiitons in basketball

Shooting guard, point guard, power forward, small forward, and center are the five positions in basketball. On the court, each position has a particular role.

Five positions in basketball

You need different skills and different positions to play basketball. However, as you grow up the position might change depending upon your height. There are different positions to play basketball. These are briefly discussed below.

1. Point guard

The first position in basketball is point guard which is one of the most important positions as it contributes to the quickness and execution of the team. Because the point guard acts as an on-court coach by calling plays, he or she must have a high basketball IQ. Usually, the point guard is going to bring the basketball up the court to the other end. As a starter, you need to have skills and be good at ball handling. If you need to work on that ball-handling skill because it is important for most of the positions. You need to read the floor and the lines and possess the ability to react and the court well.

So your dribbling’s got to be on point and you got to be able to get the basketball to teammates and do it in a way where you are not turning the ball over. You also need to learn shooting skills or how to be a good finisher around the rim with your layups stuff. The point guard is going to play a lot on the perimeter.

In the best-case scenario, point guards take the ball upcourt and make decisions that result in high-percentage shots. Point guards must be able to handle the ball and pass it. As the primary ball-handler, point guards must be talkative.

2. Shooting guard

Shooting guards, as the name suggests, must be able to put the ball in the basket. This position is typically filled by the team’s best outside shooters.

The shooting guard or two-guard, on the other hand, requires more than a good 3-point shot to be effective. They must also be able to maneuver away from the goal, such as through open areas and screens.

3. Small forward

Don’t be fooled by the moniker of the small forward as it plays a vital role in the play. This position is one of three on the basketball court and is likely the most versatile. Small forward may sound funny and one might paint a picture of a short player but mostly tall players are made small forward.

Small forward defense demands a mix of power forward and shooting guard skills. They must be bold, aggressive, and athletic enough to avoid defenders, cut to the rim, and make jump shots.

On defense, he may stand out as a small forward with a decent mid-range shooting and the ability to cut to the basket. Strength and quickness on the interior are both advantages when trying to play small forward.

4. Power forward

Things become more difficult as you got closer to the hoop. In other terms, the power forward pulls out baskets close to the rim. This position is also known as stretch four.

A mix of strength and height is required for the task. A power forward’s ability to post up and box out defenders in the paint must be improved. They’ll also need to build up screens to help teammates get open.

To be effective on offense, power forwards must use a variety of shots. With short jumpers, baseline fades, and putbacks, a power forward can be a dangerous offensive threat. They must also be able to shoot from mid-range.

5. Center

A center, being the team’s tallest player, protects the basket while also posing a constant threat beneath it. While size is important in being a center, they must also be agile.

Centers must generate their shot in tight areas and grab rebounds from teammates when attacking. Centers must be able to play with their backs to the basket on offense.

Most important basketball skills that coaches want you to have

1.      Dribbling

This is the way that helps you get free from your competitor and get hold of an accurate and proper position in passing or shooting the basketball. However, there are various kinds of dribbling such as control dribble, cross-over dribble, speed dribble, and behind-the-back dribble. So one should be knowing all these types of dribbling because you never know which type can help you in the game.

2.      Passing

Now, this is another basic skill that your coach wants you to have control of. Passing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to get the ball from players to players. However, there are types of passing such as bounce pass, chest pass, overhead pass, and push pass. If you gain control over these basic types of passing, then you are no less than an expert.

3.      Shooting

Shooting is the final movement to complete the offensive action to score a basket. There are certain types of shooting that play an important role in the game such as jump shot, reverse lay-up shot, hook shot, set shot, and floater/teardrop.

Why basketball positions are important?

There are several basketball position and each of them performs its primary role. However, most of you wonder why it is important to learn and know about different basketball positions. This is because they act as a user manual guide for basketball players.

Knowing about various basketball positions and playing while keeping them in mind can help a basketball player as they will provide the knowledge and confidence of holding the ball, pass the ball to their teammates, and then finally shooting the ball. Basketball positions are considered a backbone of a basketball match.

How to defend a ball handler?

It is very important to learn to defend against the player who has the ball to defend effectively against a player with the ball. You will be able to react in three different situations. Defending against a player who may start dribbling a player who is dribbling and defending against a player who’s finished.

Firstly, defending against a player who may start dribbling in this situation, you need to block the player so that they can neither shoot, pass nor dribble towards the basket. Spread your feet outwards and extend your arms to take up more space gap between the player and the basket forcing them to one side with the positioning of your feet.

You should keep your opponent one arm’s length away. Keep one hand low following the ball and preventing your opponent from starting a dribble and the other hand high to block your shot or pass. If your opponent is near the basket, if they are notably skilled, or if they are holding the ball above their head, move towards them and try to stop them from shooting without jumping.

You need to be highly careful and vigilant while doing this. Also, try not to react to fake jumping as your opponent will quickly get around you. if they are quick and are holding the ball low, move back slowly so that they can’t outrun you. Secondly, defending against a player who is dribbling the aim of the defender is to get in their opponent’s way to stop them from moving or shooting bend your knees, and send an armed length from your opponent.

Also, drive them towards the sideline and spread your arms downwards to prevent your opponent from dribbling. Block the ball and keep your balance if your opponent is quicker than you, move back so that they cannot outrun you. As they get closer to the basket, reduce the distance between you so that you can react quickly if they shoot.

So these are some of the basic steps that can help you a lot to defend from your opponent’s moves and skills.


We hope you liked this article and you were able to clarify your concepts regarding the different positions of basketball now you must be able to judge which position is best and when.