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Basketball Positions 


ABL 2017 26 NOV 2017 - 11 MAR 2018

In a typical game of basketball, there are usually five players on each team on the court, and each player has their roles and responsibilities.

Traditionally, players who filled these position would solely stick to their role and focus on their task, but basketball has advanced a lot since then and every player these days are required to play two or more positions at one time.

This is due to the nature of the sport where players move around and play flexibly, doing what is required in any given situation.

Here are the five basic positions and their role in basketball,

1. Centre

The centre is usually the team’s tallest and strongest player and is positioned under the basket. He is also required to be physically domineering with more physical strength and athleticism.

On the offensive play, most centres do not consistently score midrange or beyond the arch. Instead, most of their points should be from offensive rebounds and are also required to block defenders to open other players up for driving to the basket.

On the defence, the centre is responsible for keeping the opponent from shooting by blocking shots and passes in the vital area. They’re also expected to fight for rebounds as they’re usually taller physically.

Are you the Centre on your team? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Playing Center to find out how you can up your game?

Notable Centres: Shaquille O’Neal, Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gobert

2. Power Forward

Power Forwards are usually the second tallest in the team and are the closest to the centre in terms of physical attributes and playing style but with more speed.

They are often the most versatile player, being able to score in the paint as well as being able to shoot from midrange. It will be more effective if they’re able to land a three-point consistently.

Defensively, they are required to have the strength to guard bigger players close to the basket.

Notable Power Forwards: Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Paul Millsap

Basketball Drills For Power Forwards and Centers:

  • Crab dribbling drill
  • Classic finishing drill
  • Post Feed, Fade-Away drill

Click here for more information and details of the above drills.

3. Small Forward

The Small Forward is usually the shorter of the two forwards on the team but plays the most versatile role out of the main five positions.

He must have enough height and the ability to play on the inside as well as agility to play on the outside, similar to a shooting guard. Small Forwards are usually the second or third best shooters on the team and should be able to do a little bit of everything on the court.

Developing a Small Forward’s skills:

  • Ball Handling
  • Shooting
  • Passing
  • Creating Space
  • Post Up game
  • Defense
  • Pick & Roll defense
  • Dribble moves
  • Finishing
  • Setting screens

Notable Small Forwards: Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard

4. Shooting Guard

Potentially the shortest player on the team, the Shooting Guard is the team’s best outside shooter. Besides being able to shoot well, the Shooting Guard needs to be good at dribbling fast, passing and having court vision by seeing the court.

He is also responsible for driving the ball down the court and setting up offensive plays.

A good Shooting Guard will be a threat to his opponent as he’s able to score from anywhere on the court.

7 habits of successful shooting guards:

  • Know where you are best
  • Get good at the opposite
  • Fast food theory
  • Master the mid-range
  • Learn how to read space
  • Learn to score without dribbling
  • Simplify your shot

Notable Shooting Guards: James Harden, Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal

5. Point Guard

The Point Guard is usually the shortest but the best ball handler on the team. Also known as the ‘coach on the floor’ or the ‘floor general’, a point guard is responsible for directing plays.

He needs to have good court vision to create open shots for the receivers as well as drive the ball down the court and initiate offensive plays.

Point Guards need to have an excellent long-distance shooting, though it’s not quite as crucial as for shooting guards, some point guards take as many shots as shooting guards.

The 6-week Point Guard workout:

  • Monday: Upper Body Lift No. 1 and Conditioning
  • Tuesday: Agilities and Lower Body Lift No. 1
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Upper Body Lift No. 2 and Conditioning
  • Friday: Agilities and Lower Body Lift No. 2

Notable Point Guards: Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul


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Are you a parent looking to have your child pick up the sport of basketball? Whether to give your child an introduction to this fun team sport or raising his/her skill level up a notch, the ActiveSG Basketball Academy is designed to do just that.

Our qualified coaches from the top level of the game in Singapore will give your child a sound grounding in the fundamentals. While more advanced players can look forward to a pathway to expand their game. To find out more details or to register, visit this link here.

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