The Key Basketball Positions In NBA You Should Know

Author: Jomathews


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The NBA has evolved from a league of giants that play mostly in the paint to a league filled with guards that shoot threes and drive to the basket more than ever before. This change in the league’s style of play has made a significant impact on the way teams draft their players and also how they view certain skills as more important than others. Shooting is one of these skills that is now viewed as more important than ever before as it is a vital part of the current style of NBA basketball. Shooting and the ability to make shots is something that has been viewed as a skill that can be developed and improved, which has led to a huge increase in the value of shooting coaches. The game has gotten faster, smaller, and more versatile. Players are asked to do more than ever before.

More players can guard multiple positions and switch on defense, while big men are expected to extend their range beyond the paint and shoot threes or face being left behind. It’s as if everyone is recast in a new role. The NBA is no different when it comes to fads and trends. The league loves its buzzwords like “positionless basketball” (even though every team has positions—it’s just not what they call them). New phrases like “4-out offensive strategy” have popped up as the increasing pace of the game requires coaches to think fast and be smart with their actions out of timeouts. The good news is that this means we get some really fun basketball played by really talented people who have found a new way to excel within this changing landscape of our game.

 

1. Point Guard

 

A decade ago, the point guard was a position that was filled by bigger players who played next to the center. It made sense because the center needs to be able to catch the ball in the low post, make their move, dribble, and get it back out to the perimeter for a shot. Then the league switched to a small-ball style, and suddenly there were still big-bodied point guards like Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook who could play next to a center but were also expected to be able to switch and guard on the perimeter. Now, a point guard can be almost any size. The league is moving toward a positionless style, meaning any player can play almost any position. It’s becoming more and more common to see big men who are too small to guard the center position but are too skilled to be left behind on the bench. And that’s the beauty of the game: there’s a position for everyone.

 

2. Shooting Guard

 

Just a decade ago, the shooting guard was almost exclusively a guy who could shoot threes. The position consisted of players who were primarily focused on standing at the wing and waiting for someone to pass them the ball so they could shoot. Now, the position is more of a hybrid. The best shooting guards in the game can create with the dribble, shoot threes, create for others, and defend multiple positions. What’s more, the best shooting guards are rarely the tallest or biggest players on the court. The best shooting guards are often the most agile and quick. They can catch and shoot from anywhere on the court, drive to the basket, and create for others. They can also switch on defense and guard a player who is larger than them because they are quick enough to stay in front of them.

 

3. Small Forward

 

When people talk about small-ball, they’re talking about the small forward position. It used to be that the small forward was a small, quick player who could play on the wing, defend the other small forwards, and shoot threes. That was the position that helped to create the Golden State Warriors. Now, the small forward position is one of the most versatile in the game. The best small forwards in the league can do everything. They can shoot threes, create with the dribble and finish at the basket, rebound, and defend guards and centers. What’s more, they can do it all on both sides of the ball. On offense, they can shoot and pass. On defense, they can guard any position.

 

4. Power Forward

 

The power forward position has changed in the last few years. It used to be that tall, athletic players would play at power forward. Today, the power forward position is more of a hybrid between a center and a small forward. The best power forwards in the league is incredibly agile and can shoot from beyond the arc and finish at the rim. They can also switch and defend guards and small forwards. There are still some power forwards who play in the paint, but most are expected to be able to shoot threes and create for others.

 

5. Center

 

The center position, like a power forward, has also seen a shift in the last few years. The center position used to be reserved for the biggest and strongest players on the team. Now it’s filled with versatile players who can shoot from beyond the arc, finish at the rim, rebound, and block shots. That’s because the best centers in the game can defend the other positions just as well as they can play on the inside. The best centers in the league can guard the power forward and the small forward on both sides of the ball. They have the length and speed to switch on screens and keep up with the fastest guards, but they’re also strong enough to bang with the biggest guys in the paint. Centers have to be versatile on defense, just like they have to be versatile on offense. They can also defend the opposing center in the paint because they’re quick enough to stay in front of them. Because of this, the best centers in the league can shoot threes, block shots, and create for others from the inside. They can also finish at the rim and grab boards.

 

6. Rebuilding Team Positions

 

A rebuilding team is focused on the future and building a lasting team through the draft. They are not expected to win games but to find talented players who fit the team’s needs for the future. Because of this, you’ll see rebuilding teams play with a “positionless” style. That means that everyone will play every position, and every player will get a chance to show what they can do. It’s a smart way to get a good look at everyone and find out what they’re capable of. Rebuilding teams focus on the skill set of the player rather than their size. Rebuilding teams are focused on building a team identity and style of play that will last beyond one or two years when the team is ready to compete for a playoff spot.

 

Conclusion

 

The NBA has evolved from a league of giants that play mostly in the paint to a league filled with guards that shoot threes and drive to the basket more than ever before. With the success of teams like the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers that prioritize shooting from the perimeter, the trend of the NBA has become evident. Moreover, the Golden State Warriors have solidified themselves as the best team in the league by shooting more threes than ever before. According to Basketball-Reference, the Warriors’ shot the most threes during the regular season of any team in NBA history. The game has gotten faster, smaller, and more versatile. Players are asked to do more than ever before. More players can guard multiple positions and switch on defense, while big men are expected to extend their range beyond the paint and shoot threes or face being left behind. It’s as if everyone is recast in a new role. The game has evolved, and it’s up to you to make sure you’re wearing the right jersey. Are you ready to play your position?


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