What are basketball positions: Know what is the role of each basketball player.

what are basketball positions

Do you know what are basketball positions and what they do? Take a look we have compiled a list of basketball all positions for you. What is the hardest position in basketball? Many successful players consider the Point guard position the hardest position in the NBA league. Other basketball positions are Center, power forward, small forward, and shooting guard. Therefore the Centre NBA player has the role of trying to score on close-range shots and height is very virtual for a Centre player. This article is meant to guide you on how different positions work in basketball before joining.

Basketball all positions: Names, Roles and Formation

In basketball all position, there are five major positions played by most players on the basketball court. Meaning every player has a greater role and contribution on the court. Only five players are allowed in NBA games and the point guard is the NBA team captain. Also the center position, the shooting guard, power forward, small forward position, and hybrid position.

1Point Guard Position
2Small Guard Position
3Shooting Guard Position
4Power Forward Position
5Hybrid Position
6Center Position
Last Updated:October 2022

1. Point Guard

Point Guard- what are basketball positions

The Point guard position acts as a captain of the NBA team and a major playmaker as well. He needs to be good at handling the ball and shooting with a high intellectual capacity on the court. The point guard also sets the ball and brings the ball up and his vocal voice makes him outstanding. Calling players and looking for better options makes the point guard unique. The point guard must be fast and agile with the ability to skill the ball. Examples of active NBA point guard players are Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Russel Westbrook, and Jason Kidd

Point Guard Position skill Set:

  • Passing
  • Shooting
  • Communication
  • Ball Handling
  • Ball Control
  • Dribbling

2. Small Forward

The small forward is also the most important NBA player on the court. He roams and try’s to find the ball from the opposite team, small forward has to take shots, make 3s, and drive to the hoop. What makes a small forward outstanding among other NBA players? He can drive to the hoop and he usually shoots from the middle court. Sometimes the point guard and shooting guards need to have the same skill set. The small forward also creates space and runs with the ball to take shots.

Examples of active NBA small forward players are Kevin Durant (active NBA player), LeBron James, Larry Bird (Retired), Scottie Pippen, and Paul Pierce.

Small forward Skill Set:

  • Dribbling
  • Speed Handling
  • Ball Handling
  • Speed and Agility
  • Mid-Range Scoring
  • Drive To The Hoop
  • Distance Shooting
  • Guard Multiple Positions

3. Shooting Guard

Shooting Guard- what are basketball positions

The shooting guard is also known as the outside shooter, he always makes a 3-point line on the court. The shooting guard also needs to have the ability to shoot the ball immediately despite any situation on the court. The shooting guard playing position requires an NBA player who can take quick balls, create holes in the court, and be defensive also. The quicker the player the better creating good chances of winning the game.

Examples of notable shooting guard players are James Harden, Michael Jordan (Retired), Jerry West, Clyde Drexler, Klay Thompson, James Harden, and Allen Iverson.

Shooting Guard Skill Set:

  • Rebounding
  • Ball Handling
  • Tight Defense
  • Distance Shooting
  • Shooting
  • Dribbling

4. Power Forward

Power forward- what are basketball positions

The power forward plays a defensive role on the court. He also makes short jumps, shoots, hoop shots, and power forward. The power forward can stand out offensively and have greater power to block the balls from their opponents. The main focus of a power forward is to make as many blocks as possible with rebounds in the basketball game.

Looking back to the defense, the power forward stops his opponents from getting inside the hoop. Takes the ball and makes several rebounds. Examples of power forwards namely; Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Jerry Lucas, Bob Pettit, and Denis Rodman.

Power Forward Skill Set:

  • Block Shots
  • Box Out Opponents
  • Size and Strengths
  • Block Lanes
  • Rebounding Scoring In the Paint
  • Mid-Range Shots
  • Size and Strength

5. Hybrid

The hybrid position is not an official player on the court but plays as an extra player in case of injuries and substitutions. However, nowadays most NBA teams are adding extra players who can perform multiple roles during any NBA competition game conducted.

6. Center

Center Position- what are basketball positions

The Center NBA player plays a defensive role on the court and rebounds. He is usually the tallest guy in the game and spends most players under the hoop. Center NBA players must be able to assist their teammates with great footwork to play quick games. They should also assist their teammates and create more chances of scoring with the ability to drive the ball forward.

The Center player also must be good at blocking the balls with the ability to make more rebounds and stop drives to the hoop. This player must possess the ball at all times with a high rebound capacity. Examples of prominent Centre NBA players are; Tim Duncan, Tao Ming, Dwight Howard, Shaquille O’Neal, Wilt Chamberlin, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Centre Skill Set:

  • Inside Scoring
  • Block Drives To The Hoop
  • Rebounding
  • Size and Strength

Zone Formation

Zone formation- what are basketball positions

The Zone formation is one of the most defensive formations to prevent your opponents from scoring. Therefore every player on the court is assigned a specific role to perform on the court either to guard or defend the ball. Also, we can observe man-to-man switching in basketball competitions.

Press Formation

During press formation, a defensive tactic is commonly used by applying more pressure to the offensive in hopes. This is only achieved using man-to-man switching. Press formation sometimes applies before halftime of any game. A lot of passing is done by the offensive players to apply pressure on the opponent team. Examples of Press formation are Diamond Press, Man to Man Press, Full Court Press, and Half Court Press.

Man-to-Man Formation

man to man formation- what are basketball positions

In this formation, NBA players will be assigned to play as guards defending the opponent team. Player guards their opponents in the same position, and the shooting guard will also defend the opposite team. The man-to-man formation is most commonly during big games.

FAQs of basket ball all positions

What is the hardest position in basketball?

The Point guard position is considered the hardest position for most NBA players. The NBA player needs to have multiple skill sets with high basketball IQ ability to pass the ball.

What is the best NBA Position?

The best NBA position is shooting guard since he makes long-distance shots on the court for 3-pointers.

How many basketball positions are there in NBA?

There are 5 major positions in basketball namely; Point Guard, Shooting guard, Small forward, power forward, and Centre

Does the point guard shoot?

Yes, the point guard can shoot three-pointers in a long-range position.

What is the most important positions in basketball?

The point guard is the most important position in basketball and playmaker. He also directs the basketball players on the court to open up and move forward toward their opponents.

Read Also: Michael Jordan vs LeBron James: Who is the real GOAT of basketball?


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Chethan HC

Hello, I am a passionate and dedicated writer with a deep love for Basketball. With years of experience in both creative and technical writing, I have sharpened my skills and developed a unique representative that resonates with readers. I am constantly seeking out new opportunities to challenge myself and grow as a professional writer. In my free time, you can find me lost in a good book, traveling to new and exciting places, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature. I hope you find my blogs informative. Have a nice time ahead, Thank you...!

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