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Basketball Positions

There are five players per side in a basketball game, and each of these players plays a specific basketball position. Every basketball position has a goal and purpose, and we have described each one below:

Basketball Positions - The Point Guard

The Point Guard has to be super fast and nimble, so this position is often - but not always - played by the smallest player, because the little guys can be quicker on their feet. A good Point Guard makes plays happen on the court, so they must possess above average basic skills like ball handling, dribbling, passing and shooting. It is also important for the Point Guard to be defensive minded. A few of the most popular Point Guards playing in the NBA are Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and Tony Parker.

Basketball Positions - The Off Guard (Shooting Guard)

The Off Guard is also called the Shooting Guard because this position scores more than the others. Off Guards have to be offensive minded and excel at shooting the ball from any place on the court. The Off Guard should also be good at observing the play of his teammates and be able to move well without the ball, creating passing opportunities. Some of the more famous Off Guards from the NBA are Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan.

Basketball Positions - The Small Forward

The Small Forward - aka the Number 3 Player - is usually the position with the most diverse skill set. This player has to be quick, powerful and an exceptional shooter. Favorite Small Forwards from the NBA include Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Grant Hill, LeBron James, Shawn Marion, Scottie Pippen and Tayshaun Prince.

Basketball Positions - The Power Forward

The Power Forward position is often more defensive, so players should be big and powerful, hence the name. All of that strength works for the whole team, enabling this position to make good plays and give picks to the Point Guards. In recent years, the Power Forward position has become more of a threat on offense. Popular NBA Power Forwards include Kevin Garnett, Carl Malone, Dirk Nowitzki and Ben Wallace.

Basketball Positions - The Center

The Center is generally the tallest player on any basketball team, and the average height of a Center in the NBA is about 7 feet. The height of these players makes them a natural for scoring off the rebound, and they are responsible for defending their basket. Celebrated Centers from the NBA include Brad Miller, Yao Ming and Shaquille O'Neal.

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