basketball team positions

All you need to know about basketball team positions

Basketball sports normally has five positions that are best basketball team positions. It is up to the team as to how they want to organize their players.The positions are

  1. Point Guard
  2. Small forward
  3. Shoot guard
  4. Center and
  5. Power forward

In most cases and maximum team across the world consider point guard to be the best position that a team can have on the basketball court.The Point Guard position requires a good ball handling skill, only then it will be helpful for the team during a match.The small forward position when handling the basket shows an aggressive playing approach. This position 9often makes cuts in order to make it open for shots effortlessly during the baskets.The shoot guard position is best for shooting from a long distance and hence is the best shooter position. This position and power forward is also known as the most effective defender in the court.The center position is known by the name frontcourt and are the shot blockers or rebounders for the players.

How the positions evolved in basketball sports?

Earlier three positions were considered in basketball play, namely 2 forwards, 2 guards and 1 center. This was recognized depending on the position of the player on the court. The 2 guards as the name suggests played away and outside of the hoop. The 2 forwards also played outside but close to the baseline. The 1 center was in the key point. In the 1980s there were slight modifications made in the strategy after the addition of the 3-point shot in the play.Gradually things developed and specialized roles evolved. This lead to the development of 5 position that is played in present days.

The importance of strategy in positioning the basketball team

The team strategy can differ from one team to the other as positioning depends on the availability of appropriate player and most importantly planned strategy. Every team has the right to plan their own strategy and form their team position according to their choice. A very popular example of this is the Princeton offense and the dribble-drive motion offense where there is 1 center and 4 guards who are interchangeable. There is a particular name for this position set and it is “four-in and one-out” scheme. There are many other prevalent position combinations that are used by some of the best basketball team in the world.

Some other important positions in basketball sports

Other than the main and most commonly used 5 positions there are positions like hybrid and non-standard, for example a hybrid small forward, a hybrid point guard, a point forward, a hybrid small shooting guard, the swingman, a hybrid power forward or center, a power forward, and the stretch four which has a larger shooting range.

A detailed study about the different basketball team position

Point Guard

The point guard position is also referred to as one. This is mainly the passer and best ball handler point.Thus, the players playing at this position most often capable of creating shots for their team and own-selves. They help their teammates in assists. They can hit shots as they are very fats wither in the paint or outside the line of 3-point. This also depends to a great extent on the skills of the players. The PG are the coach present on the floor or the floor generals.

They are there to find out the weak points of their opponent team by studying the game closely and also bring out the strengths of their own teammates. They must take up the responsibility of directing the game on the court and the position same as the quarterback. If a team has good point guards their efficiency is bound to increase. They manage to get a large number of assists.They are also known as play-makers or dribblers.The point guards are normally 6 feet 4 inches in height and are the shortest players present in the team.Often, they are shorter than this height.

basketball team positions

Shooting guard

The shooting guard is often referred as the off guard or the two.They also have got the name wing along with the forward due to their crucial positioning tactics.As the name suggests they are some of the best shooters in the team.They are also good defenders and can move during the game to create open looks without the balls.They have ball handling skills and tends to create vital shots at times from the dribble. They can pass the ball easily and swiftly and thus fulfilling the responsibility of the point guards which also gives them the name of combo guards. The average height of the players playing at the shooting position are 6 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 8 inches.

Read Also: basketball positions

Small forward

The small forward is also called the three. These are one of the most versatile players in the basketball matches.They hold the first five vital positions in the game. This position is so important because it represents that of a shooting guard and also at times of a power forward.The platers playing as shooting guards can interchange their position with these small forwards and this is the time when they are called wings.

These players have extreme strength and are very quick in acting on the court. They can get to the line in no time and get slam dunks or lay-ups. players can shoot easily from a large range and are also good basket driver. They are generally 6 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 10 inches long. players are expected to do a everything in small portions on the basketball court especially act as defense specialist and swing men.

Power forward

These players playing at the power forward position are referred to as four. They have responsibility quite similar to the players playing at the center position. They can score baskets by getting close to it quickly. They must also have defensive skills ands be able to guard players who are bigger and near the basket. They must be flexible and quick enough to guard the basket and take away players of the opponent team away from the scoring basket.Often these players at the power forward position are faster than those at the center. The height of the players who are put at the power forward position are 6 feet 8 inches to 7 feet


The Center position is called the five. They are the players who place themselves near the basket or close to the baseline. The tallest player in the team generally gets this position. They get to score in the paint and down low as they are closest to the basket in the play. However, many center position players are great perimeter shooters.They can collect rebounds, set screens and contest shots in the game.This is one of the most crucial position in the basketball play.These players are comparatively slower but taller and have good defensive skills. They can shoot from high posts due to their mismatch ability. It is hard to get the tough combination of height, skills and durability in a player who can play at this particular position.


In earlier times basketball games has running guards who had the job of bringing the ball up and also attacked or passed the basket like a combo guard or a point guard. The court also had a stationary guard who concentrated on defense and made long shots. Presently things have got altered to some extent after basketball sports saw changes in strategies and rules over the years. Nowadays the 5 positions are the best basketball team positions that are implemented by mostly all teams during games.