If you are reading this article, you would like to know how to play point guard in basketball. We are happy you chose to read this because it is essential to understand how to play the point guard position. In our article today, we will inform you about what a point guard does in basketball and provide you with some tips and drills that you can use to work on your dribbling, passing, shooting, and decision-making skills.
What Does a Point Guard Do in Basketball?
A point guard is an integral player on any basketball team. They are responsible for a lot of duties on the basketball court. Here are the things that a point guard does in basketball.
Ball Handle and Orchestrate Offence
One of the significant responsibilities of a team’s point guard is to handle the ball without turning it over while orchestrating the offense. A point guard is most often going to be responsible for dictating what plays are called on the court, and he is also responsible for getting the ball where it needs to be when it should be there.
A point guard is often said to be the extension of the coach on the court because of this. These players should dribble the ball while protecting it, so he does not give away turnovers to the opposing team.
Dribble Penetrate to Score
Good point guards know when and how to break down a team’s defense via dribble penetration. Dribble penetration is when the ball handler uses their ball-handling skills to attack the basket to get to the basket to make a pass.
Point guards should be able to penetrate the opposing team’s defense if opportunities present themselves and make shots at the basket. When your point guard can dribble penetrate effectively, they will command extra attention from the defense, and this can result in opportunities for other players.
Dribble Penetrate to Pass
Double penetrating to pass the basketball is a great way of getting open shots on the floor. Good point guards can breakdown defenses with their dribbling capabilities and are talented enough to see and make passes to their teammates on the perimeter, in the mid-range, or cutters for open shots.
These passes are great ways for point guards to pick up extra dimes throughout a game. If you have a point guard that does this regularly, keep your eyes on the ball so that you can collect the passes.
In addition to their important responsibility on the offensive end of the basketball, point guards have a big responsibility on the defensive end as well. If your point guard isn’t big enough or capable of defending the opposing team’s point guard, you may have to compensate for this by switching them to play a less offensive-minded player if you are lucky enough to find one on the next team.
A point guard that defends the perimeter reasonably well is a great asset to have because they can slow down opposing point guards and prevent dribble penetration.
A point guard that can create their own shot is exceptional, and it is also great to have a point guard that can make open shots when the ball is passed back to them. Many guards in the NBA have a score-first mentality, and even though they may not be considered traditional pure point guards, they are great assets to have. Take for example, Trae Young.
Some point guards are pass-first point guards, and they find it difficult to score the basketball with ease. This can be a problem in important games because the defense focuses more on other players. For example, in the past, teams could sag off Rajon Rondo and focus on other parameter players because of his then lack of scoring abilities.
What Should a Point Guard Work On?
To be an effective point guard, and there are things that a player needs to add to their game or improve on their existing game. Here are some things that point guards need to work on to be effective on the floor.
You cannot be a point guard if you can’t dribble the ball. It’s just that simple. If a player does not have good handles, they cannot put in their ballot for the team’s point guard. If you wish to become a point guard, you definitely need to have good handles, so do some basketball dribbling drills for point guards.
The point guard’s main role on a team is to orchestrate the team’s offense, and there is no way they can do this if they can’t dribble the ball properly and without turnovers.
In addition to creating offense for themselves and their teams, point guards need to work on their defense too. Perimeter defense is critical in today’s version of basketball because perimeter offense is where the game is now.
Many point guards just like yourself are working to improve their offensive arsenal, and if they can’t be slowed down, your team will be in big trouble when you face off. If a point guard is great at defending, their team will have a significant upper hand because they can slow down their opponents’ point guard.
Traditional point guards don’t place a lot of emphasis on shooting. This because they focus more on creating offense for their teammates via passes and dribble penetration. This play style does not often require shooting, however, a point guard that cannot shoot is a significant liability.
Point guards that can’t shoot the ball are often ignored on defense so that the team can stop more threats on the perimeter. If you want to be an effective point guard, work on your shot to command enough respect and attention from the team on defense.
Passing from Perimeter
A point guard must be able to pass. Passing goes hand-in-hand with dribbling when you talk about the position of point guard. If you cannot pass the ball, you cannot be a point guard, it’s that simple. A point guard cannot orchestrate an offense if they can’t create shots for and then pass the ball to their teammates.
A point guard needs to pass the ball in the post from the perimeter and be able to create opportunities by passing out of double-teams and pick-and-rolls. A point guard should also work on full-court passing so they can get easy baskets. In addition to those, a point guard must know how to pass along the perimeter as well.
Passing from Paint
Point guards should be able to dribble penetrate and to get into the paint. If a point guard gets to the paint and cannot score the basket themselves, their next best option will now be to pass. In addition to passing out of necessity in those situations, a point guard should intentionally break down defenses and make a pass either to an open shooter on the perimeter, mid-range, or to an open cutter.
Passing from the paint will take practice individually, but the team must practice these plays together so that errant passes do not lead to turnovers.
Passing out of Double Teams/Traps
If a point guard is a significant scoring threat, teams will soon opt to double-team them to get the ball out of their hands. If point guards find themselves in these situations, their first thought should be to find the open player.
Often, we see point guards or ball-handlers trying to split the double-team and overlook the open pass. This most often than not results in turnovers and costs the team dearly. A point guard can split the double team, but this is not a practice that should be done on every trap. Point guards need to make quick decisions and quick passes to open players even before the double team gets to them.
Do Point Guards Score a Lot?
This is a question that is going to be based on the individual player. Some point guards will score the basketball more than others based on the offense they play in or their particular skill sets.
Score first PG
Scoring point guards are point guards that look for and create their shots before creating shots for their teammates. This may be because of how the point guard is or based on the system the team is playing. A score-first point guard can be good or bad depending on how you look at it.
It can be useful to have a score-first point guard because their offensive capabilities could command attention from the defense, which will result in open players, and it could be bad because they miss opportunities for the team to score because they don’t create as much for their teammates.
Pass first PG
Pass first point guards will not score as much as shoot-first point guards because their priority is creating shots for their teammates.
Understandably, if a point guard spends most of his time on the ball creating for others, you won’t have enough shooting opportunities for himself.
How Do You Play as a Point Guard in Basketball: 5 Tips
To play the point guard position, you should be willing and capable of orchestrating your team’s offense. A point guard is an extension of the coach while on the court. When you are playing the point guard position, make sure you know all the plays that the team rehearse and know where your teammates should be.
Create and Shoot
As a point guard, you should be able to create shots for your teammates and yourself. You will have the ball in your hands most of the team has possessions, so your teammates may not be able to create for you. You will need to create your own shots most of the time.
Create for Teammates
A point guard must be able to create scoring opportunities for his team. Your main responsibilities as a point guard while orchestrating the team’s offense is to get the ball where it needs to be, and sometimes you must create these opportunities through dribble penetration, pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop, or others.
Defend the Perimeter
To be an outstanding point guard, you should defend other point guards reasonably well. Work on your defensive skills so that you can slow down or flat-out stop other point guards.
Shoot Open Jumpers
Even though your primary responsibility may not be shooting the ball, you should be able to score open shots as a point guard. Work on your free throws and your jump shot so when the opportunity presents itself, you can be a scoring threat for your team. A point guard that can shoot the ball is a very big liability.
3 Best Basketball Drills for Point Guards
Here are some useful basketball workout for point guards.
Shooting off the Dribble
Stephen Curry is one of the best when it comes to shooting off the bounce. A point guard that can shoot the ball off the bounce is a huge threat. Just look at how Stephen Curry terrorizes defenses with his abilities.
This next video is one that will show you tips and drills for shooting the basketball off the dribble. Follow these steps, and you will be able to create your own shot very soon.
Pick and Roll
The pick-and-roll is a tested and proven method of scoring the basketball very easily in a game. Point guards, being the primary ball-handler on the team, will have many opportunities to run pick-and-roll plays with their teammates.
Here is a video that shows the fundamentals of the pick-and-roll and the many opportunities that can arise from it.
Defending other Guards
We can’t stress this enough, point guards must learn how to play defense. If you cannot defend efficiently, teams will target you, and you will be a huge liability to your team. Work on your defensive skills by practicing some of the moves that are in this next video.
3 NBA Point Guards of All Time
Here is a shortlist of three of the best NBA point guards of all time. Two are still point guards in the NBA. We compiled this list based on these player’s numeric contributions and skill while playing.
Stephen Curry is arguably the best shooter in NBA history and has the stat line to prove it. For his career, he is averaging 23.5 pts and shooting over 47% from the field.
Russell Westbrook may be a controversial addition to this list for many people. He is here because he is a monster. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated an incredible ability to score at will and also impact the game through his passing and rebounding capabilities.
Oscar Robertson is the original Russell Westbrook. He is the original Mr. Triple Double. Any point guard that can affect the game in this way deserves a spot on this list. These guys are literally one in a million.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Play Point Guard in Basketball
To play the point guard position in basketball, you should be a capable ball-handler and smart enough to organize your team when playing offense. On the defensive end of the floor, you should be able to guard the perimeter relatively well. Point guards must be able to pass and make open shots.