point guard basketball

The role of the point guard in basketball

Table of contents

Playing in position 1, the point guard occupies several roles on a basketball court. First and foremost, it’s a position of great responsibility. Mistakes pay off in spades. A bad pass can easily be punished by a counter-attack. This means one less opportunity for his team to add two or three points to their tally. Similarly, a poor defensive retreat can result in his opponent driving to the basket at lightning speed.

A basketball point guard: a complex position

The quality of a playmaker is measured via several criteria. For example, the number of points scored and conceded when he’s on the floor. The number of assists, steals and loose balls he makes should also be taken into account. As should his shooting percentage. Numbers are of course important for a player’s development, but they don’t tell the whole story.

The most important thing is to know whether he makes his team play well or not. As well as leading the game, he needs to be a real leader of men and know when to calm things down. A certain charisma is essential if he is to be respected by all those directly involved in the game. This includes above all his coach and team-mates, but also his opponents and the referees. Being mentally strong is also another of the characteristics to possess.

The qualities of playmakers

Playmakers are generally quick with or without the ball in their hands. Post 1 is the boss on the pitch, deciding on the tempo to be set, as well as the different systems of play devised by the coach. It’s a real relay for the head coach in terms of the instructions given. The two individuals need to understand each other with simple gestures. A strong connection between them is desirable. Speech is not always necessary.

His abilities are manifold. His impact on his team is often not limited to the pitch. Giving his team-mates confidence and finding them in excellent positions and conditions is part of his mission. The ball passes through his hands almost every time it’s passed. Announcing systems by voice and smoothing the collective flow is part of his daily routine. At the same time, he must be the first to show the way, and his behavior must be exemplary. Like a captain and a leader, he must not hesitate to raise his voice on the pitch or in the dressing room to remobilize the troops. Placing his teammates on the floor, especially offensively, is part of his role.

The different types of playmaker

It’s important to know that there are different types of playmakers. Some have a more scoring or organizing profile than others. A versatile post 1 can do almost anything.
On defense, he’s the first line of defence to slow down the opposing attack. He has an important role to play in attempting interceptions and obtaining easy baskets on the counter-attack. Technique and vision are essential for top-level performance.
The playmaker is potentially the smallest, leanest player on the court. Of course, not everyone is.

The prototype of the ideal playmaker: beefy and experienced like Chris Paul, explosive like Russell Westbrook, deft like Trae Young, fast like John Wall, smart like Ricky Rubio, versatile like Luka Dončić, killer like Damian Lillard, snarling like Patrick Beverley, with the handle of Kyrie Irving, the size of Ben Simmons and the game vision of LeBron James.

About the author
Picture of Alan Le Bolloch

Alan Le Bolloch

Alan is the founder and photographer of 3PTSHOT! For over 10 years, he has been sharing his passion for basketball on this blog. He regularly travels to the USA to cover NBA games. Alan is also the author of the book "Create a successful website: make a living from your passion and realize your dreams".